Young tourists who travel to Iran and locate in cheap hostels
New generation of Iranian hostels attract younger tourists
Tourism is one of the most important sectors of the Iranian economy which, following the abolition of the international sanctions last year, underwent rapid growth within the framework of the 2015 Atomic Energy Convention.
As the Iranian tourism industry grows, a new generation of hostels that younger travelers encounter around the country emerges.
With the rise of arriving travelers, the development and growth of the Iranian tourism industry have become one of the main priorities of the administration of President Hassan Rouhani. The Rural Tourism Vision 2025 plan outlines the goal of increasing the country’s share of international tourists in the world from 0.9% in 2004 to 1.5% by 2025, representing 20 million visitors and $ 30 billion annual revenue. According to Iranian officials, more than 6 million foreign tourists visited the country in the previous Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20 and generated about $ 8 billion in sales.
While the average age of tourists visiting Iran was about 60, officials say the average age has fallen between 45 and 50, as more young travelers visit the country. In fact, Iran, which has been designated by the World Economic Forum as the world’s cheapest destination in three consecutive semi-annual reports, has become a new destination for backpackers who prefer to travel at a lower cost and avoid luxury hotels and services.
In this regard, hostels offering hospitality services at a cheaper standard and lower costs than hotels are of interest to investors and tourists alike.
The first permanent hostel was founded in Germany in 1912 and soon became popular elsewhere. Although these hostels are widespread around the world, they are still established in their childhood in Iran, with only a few in the capital, Tehran and major tourist cities in recent years.
Jalal Rashedi, the founder and CEO of the Seven Hostels Group, told Al-Monitor: “We started the first place in Tehran, which was in line with the internationally recognized standards of a typical hostel in terms of facilities and Vibe Theme on other cities such as Shiraz, Esfahan, Alamut and also extended to a small town near Dizin Ski Resort. “
He said that Seven Hostels Group began creating a domestic platform for booking hostels in Iran through English-language websites to facilitate the reservation of tours and also transportation services.
The increase in the number of young foreign tourists visiting Iran is an important factor in the growing number of hostels around the country. While Iran with an insufficient number of high-standard hotels, cheaper, traditional accommodation is not successful in attracting foreign tourists.
Irans traditional budget accommodation, known as “mosaferkhaneh” (traveler’s house), has long been used by locals. These facilities are widely used in religious cities such as Qom, Mashhad and Shiraz, where pilgrims travel from all walks of life to visit sacred sites. In a mosaferkhaneh, guests can rent a room that has one or more beds, each room has either a bathroom and a kitchen or sharing such facilities with other rooms.
But despite a large number of these traditional low-cost accommodations across Iran, they were rarely used by foreign travelers. “Mosaferkhanehs are not really popular among foreign tourists, they lack the young, lively and international atmosphere that you will enjoy in a typical hostel, and the best thing to stay in a youth hostel is to meet other young travelers from other countries and share stories And this is definitely something you can not experience with a typical mosaferkhaneh, “said Rashedi.
He added, “Iranian Mosaic Kings do not have proper websites in English and the tourists have no idea what to expect in these places.”
This is the reason why Golnar Zamani and Habibeh Fathi, young women who own “Hi Tehran Hostel”, believe that the easiest way to explain what is on offer is by simply labeling. “Hostels are internationally known by the backpackers and young travelers who create the majority of tourism these days,” said Golnar Al’s monitor.
The two entrepreneurs claim that the traditional, cheap accommodation of Iran is not properly presented to foreign tourists.