0703 GMT May 21, 2019
Morteze Rahmani Movahhed added that those who are allowed to host tourists in their houses could register at this site.
“Tourists can book rooms through this site in the near future. At present, we seek to publicize them and inform people via SMS and cyberspace," he said.
The units are located in the cities of Khorasan Razavi, Mazandaran, Ardabil, Gilan, Golestan, Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari, Kurdestan and Hamedan provinces.
"If a property owner wants to register his/her house at website, he/she declares the house's facilities and equipments. Provincial officials supervise the units. If they are in line with regulations and standards, they will approve them,” he said.
“The information about every house is sent to the deputy head of the province’s Tourism Department. They study and approve the regulations. The house will be registered on the website within a month."
Movahhed said marketing and publicity are conducted for these houses through this system.
“Generally, an owner should introduce his/her house via a billboard or placard. However, introducing via the website is a proper way and wins the trust of people,” he added.
The ICHHTO official noted that the visitor virtually sees the house and then travel there with peace of mind.
“The price of units is variable. However, supervisors prepare a framework of prices. At times, a house is rented at 300,000 rials per night and sometimes at 1.5 million rials,” he said.
“The unit should have insurance coverage so that tourists could stay there with peace of mind.”
Movahhed noted that currently, some ecotourism resorts are hosting travelers.
Based on figures released by ICHHTO and the Immigration and Passport Office, close to 36,000 foreigners visited Iran’s historical and natural attractions during March-August 2014.
This registered a 204-percent rise compared with the same period of last year.
Movahhed also said this growth is due to restoration of international trust and establishment of stability and calm.
He estimated that Iran should attract 20 million tourists by the end of the 2025 Vision plan.
“This is not unrealistic, but needs reconstruction of tourism infrastructures and removal of shortcomings,” he said.
“Although we attracted more tourists last year, ICHHTO seeks to remove the problem of tourist distribution at different times and sites. It seeks to render tourism services in proportion to demands,” he said.
The official said foreign tourists used to travel to Iran only in certain seasons, but if the tourism industry is successful, it could attract foreign tourists in all seasons and to various cities.
“Fortunately, this year, the time of tourist arrival in Iran started two months sooner than in the past,” he said.
“Foreign tourists are eager to visit the unknown historical sites of Iran.”
Movahhed said ICHHTO aims to attract more foreign tourists, organize domestic tourism and promote the use of information technology in tourism sector.
“We launched the website www.khaneh-mosafer.ir concurrent with World Tourism Day,” he said.
“Domestic and foreign tourists can find details of hotels and private houses, and book them before starting their journey.”
The official put global foreign exchange turnover in tourism sector at $1.2 trillion in 2013.
Since Iran boasts 10 percent of global tourism attractions, one percent of the world’s soil and one percent of global population, it should earn at least $12 billion in tourism revenues.
The official noted that close to 4.5 million tourists entered Iran in 2013 and the country earned $5 billion while Turkey hosted 40 million tourists during the same period.
“Turkey has succeeded in attracting tourists in light of its tourism potentials, particularly its coastlines,” he said.
Iran could also draw more tourists by publicizing its coastal attractions.
According to figures released by Immigration and Passport Office, between 1.5 and 2 million travelers entered or left Iranian land borders during March-August 2014.
“For the first time, inbound tourists exceeded outbound travelers during July 23-Aug. 22, 2014,” he said, hoping that such a development is taking place in all months.
“With the arrival of every foreign tourist, an average of between four and nine jobs will be generated. For example, every health tourist directly generates four jobs in Iran.”
Movahhed said every foreign tourist spends between $1,000 and $1,500 on average.
He said the launch of a comprehensive statistical site is under consideration and its implementation depends on the cooperation of all organizations.
The official said non-governmental organizations and cultural groups such as friendship associations play an important role in familiarizing foreign tourists with Iran’s attractions, therefore ICHHTO spares no efforts to ease their activities.