Parsian Azadi Hotel (formerly the Hyatt Crown Tehran) seen from Chamran Highway in Tehran

Only Two Hotels Constructed In Tehran Since Revolution

Tuesday, 04/02/2024

Iran's Deputy Tourism Minister Ali-Asghar Shalbafian has announced that since the revolution, only two hotels have been built in the capital, pointing to the country's dire tourism situation under clerical rule.

“After the revolution, only two hotels have been built in Tehran, and one of the reasons for the lack of hotel construction in cities is the high municipal fees, which dissuades people from venturing into hotel development,” he added, blaming bureaucracy.

The revelation comes amidst a broader context of the crisis facing Iran's tourism industry in a country with a once vibrant tourism industry. Concerns about safety and the risk of arbitrary detention by authorities have deterred foreign travelers, despite Iran's rich cultural and historical attractions.

The Iranian government's history of seizing foreign nationals for political leverage or espionage charges has fostered an atmosphere of uncertainty for tourists. This, coupled with mandatory hijab rules and restrictions on alcohol and nightlife, has contributed to a decline in international visitors, particularly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Hopes for a tourism resurgence following the 2015 nuclear deal were dashed when then-US President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018, triggering a downturn in Iran's tourism prospects. Mass protests and the detention of several Europeans last year further exacerbated the situation, prompting Western countries to issue travel advisories cautioning against visiting Iran.

Earlier, Hormatollah Rafi'ee, a representative of the tourism sector, expressed concerns about the government's failure to capitalize on tourism opportunities, highlighting a decline in incoming tourists despite claims of growth.

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