Statement of the Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses"
1- Tourism as the most prominent social phenomenon of modern society and a multi-sectoral industry has been gradually turning into a pivot of social system developments in societies worldwide. Tourism also plays a major role in defining national and international strategies, to the extent that the number of tourists is an indicator of development and safety of countries and metropolises. In other words, tourism is a major indicator of development in today's world. Modern economic and social approaches state that countries with few number of foreign tourists are considered to be underdeveloped, insecure and primitive.
Economic, cultural, political and social functions of tourism have resulted in particular attention of governments being paid to policy making and planning in the industry. Revenue increase, job creation, poverty alleviation, justice promotion, environment preservation and safeguarding tangible and intangible assets of societies are among main functions of tourism industry.

Tourism industry as a part of the social phenomenon of tourism, comprises of six main elements namely as:
1-1- Natural, cultural, industrial and services attractions which account for the main incentive of tourists to opt for a certain destination.
2-1- Air, land, railroad and marine transportation services which make tourists mobility possible. The quantity and quality of the services offered have decisive roles in development of tourism industry.
3-1- Accommodation and hospitality are foundations for offering tourism products as well as destination choice. Tourists usually leave their home, hoping to find comfort and welfare in the destination.
4-1- High quality foods, beverages and restaurant services, catered to the taste of tourists, whether inside hotels or outside in restaurants, is of great importance. Moreover, some countries in the world are known for their cuisine and food services.
5-1- Shopping, bazaars, souvenirs and handicrafts comprise a considerable part of tourism turnover. Tourists with more than an annual income of 30 thousand dollars spend two-thirds of their travel budget on shopping and buying souvenirs.
6-1- Special services offered to tourists; Apart from primary services offered to tourists in destination, there exist several other special services which may be made available for the them, including special management services, organizing tours, using professional tour guides able to speak the tourists' native languages, utilizing well trained and professional staff especially in accommodation, reception and transportation services, preparing special plans for holidays and pastime, advertisement, marketing, using information and communication technology, banking, insurance, observing guests and tourists' dignity and rights, and other services which are deemed to be vital for tourists.
Any of the six elements mentioned above include detailed subjects, specialties, and approaches, yet they are inter-dependent. Every element of tourism industry includes hundreds of professional job and business opportunities.
On the occasion of "100 hotels – 100 businesses" project, this statement addresses the importance of construction of hotels and accommodation facilities, as well as the necessity of embarking on a movement to buildmodern hotels in Iran.

2- Historical records of developing hospitality and accommodation facilities and related services in Iran date back to a long time ago??? When?. Iran's geographical location has put it on the crossroads of the world. It is quite well known that Shah Abbas the II of Safavid Dynasty intended to build one thousand caravanserais in Iran, so that travelers and merchants would easily travel all over the country. Many researchers believe this magnificent initiative aimed for Iranian splendor and prosperity during the Safavid era.
"You can resolutely say that the peak of cultural prosperity and civilization of Iran has been dependent on prosperity and thriving of caravanserais, and vice versa. Promising and thriving status of roads and caravanserais during Shah Abbas the II is on a par with Iran's all out prosperity. Their poor diminishing status coincided with Shah Sultan Hossein of Safavid Dynasty and Nader Shah of Afsharid Dynsasty. Iran was an international commercial hub during Shah Abbas the II era," Dr. Seyyed Javad Tabatabaei writes in an article.
Acceptable transportation services and trade volume, requires fundamental institutions. Being aware of this, Shah Abbas ordered several Caravanserais to be constructed along the main travel routes of merchants. Merchants from eastern and western countries could stay in the caravanserais, and get informed of world business news," writes Tabatabaei in his article. Moreover, in the 1970s and along with promotion of modern traveling and tourism processes, Iranian government embarked on the project of constructing some 200 hotels and guesthouses across the country, currently more than 64 of which are offering services in cooperation with Iranian Touring and Tourism Investment Company. Given the emergence of modern tourism, and considering the new atmosphere in the country in the post-JCPOA (Joint Common Plan of Action) era, tourism related issues needed to be addressed according to requirements of time and in a professional way.

3- Hotel construction is considered a basis for offering various tourism industry products, and the industry has been continuously improving in the Middle East and Western Asia regions within last three decades, calling for more investment and paving the way for greater business opportunities.
An analysis of the economic developments in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Qatar and Malaysia, and comparing the number of hotels constructed or under construction in these countries with the relevant figures in Iran leads us to very clear conclusions.

4- Traveling to Iran has always been an appeal for foreign tourists due to the country’s numerous and rich cultural, historical and religious attractions. The appeal has increased even more since Iran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. This is while hospitality and accommodation facilities of the country are limited both in quantity and quality. Around 70 percent of potential foreign tours –mostly from rich European countries- to ancient Iranian cities like Isfahan are rejected due to lack of luxury hotels. This has brought about limited capacities in organizing travel packages which should be regularly offered, based on accommodation facilities and standard services.

5- Professional analysis show that lack of luxury hotels is actually the major obstacle in Iranian tourism industry. Based on World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report, Iran does not enjoy an appropriate place when it comes to the index of Tourist Service Infrastructure. Iran stands at 119th place among 141 countries according to the data.
Moreover, when the index of the number of hotel rooms per 100 population is discussed, Iran stands in the 113th place among 141 countries. The related rankings are 37 for Saudi Arabia, 63 for Turkey, 34 for the United Arab Emirates, and 47 for Malaysia. This is while there are a mere 1038 hotels all over Iran, only three percent of which are rated as four-star or better.
Based on the latest figures, the first three provinces having largest number of hotels are Khorasan Razavi with 168 hotels and Mazandaran with 97 –none of which are four stars-, as well as Tehran with 96. The least numbers of hotels belong to provinces of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, North Khorasan and Zanjan with four, six, and seven hotels accordingly.
Based on surveys within the framework of Iranian National Tourism Development Plan lead by Ludwig Reeder (2003) for Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization in seven tourism hobs in Iran, the country needed 361 hotels at the time.
The objective mentioned in Article 50 of Major Policies section of the Sixth Development Plan (2016-2021) devises the number of foreign tourists entering Iran to increase fivefold. In case the objective is going to be materialized, Iran will need at least 400 four- and five-star hotels. If Iranian tourism development is materialized according to the major policies mentioned in the development plan, as some foreign companies have also claimed, the country will need more than 770 four- or five-star hotels. The Sixth Development Plan predicts some 270 four- or five-star hotels to be constructed in Iran by its end. 124 hotels (47 five-star and 77 four-star ones) are currently under construction. Moreover, according to the data released by EMCO consulting company (2014), Iran will need 484 thousand hotel room beds by 2025.

6- Weak infra-structures in tourism industry of Iran, especially hotel construction, makes the government pay specific attention to the issue in the Sixth Development Plan. Thus, it is predicted that the number of hotels in Iran will raise to 1600 in 2020, some 250 of which will be four- or five-star ones. This is while the figure is currently 1220.

7- The project "100 hotels – 100 businesses" is presented with an expert approach and based on conclusions of national and international surveys. Apart from surveys carried out within the framework of Iranian National Development Plan, studies carried out by other local and international companies and organizations have been utilized, some of which belong to the National Organization of Land and Housing, Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans, Touring and Tourism Investment Organization, University of Tehran Tourism Research Center and EMCO Company.

8- Apart from documentary studies and employing the conclusions of existing reports and researches, new approaches to tourism development and hotel building industry in special–as an economic phenomenon with several various functions- have been heeded. Moreover, expertise and knowledge of the country's governor generals, mayors of large cities, operators of free trade zones and tourism attraction sites, high ranking officials of provincial cultural heritage organizations and members of supreme provincial and city councils were applied in some 174 projects, each supported with DWG maps as well as environmental and local studies. The results are compiled and published in the project's book.

9- "100 hotels – 100 businesses" is not only a development strategy for Iranian tourism industry, but also a practical measure for building up the assets and wealth of Iran Social Security Organization.

10- Tourism Holding of Social Security Organization (HEGTA) as the largest tourism holding of Iran, will be established as the main mediator of local and international investment projects. Specific financing of middle-term hotel construction projects in the form of joint ventures, will be organized.

11- "100 hotels – 100 businesses" project is offered through Tourism Holding of Social Security Organization (HEGTA) because it enjoys high credit as the largest non-governmental economic institute of the country, yet affiliated and under supervision of the government. The organization may effortlessly win the trust of local and foreign entrepreneurs and participants, and successful engagement of all persons and legal entities is deemed guaranteed.

12- Since the Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses" has been introduced by the Managing Director of HEGTA, it has provoked several local and international reactions. Trying to maintain their leading position in hospitality industry in Western Asia, the officials of Starwood Hotels and Resorts introduced the project of One Hundred Hotels in the Middle East (the United Arabian Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar) for the year 2020 in AHIC conference in Dubai. Moreover, the Wall Street Journal published an article about the need for mass building of hotels in Iran. International companies such as French Group of Accor International Hotels and Roda expressed their belief that the Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses" will create a revolution in development of Iran hospitality industry.

13- Constructing chain hotels in Iran stopped some 40 year ago. Since then, all hotels in the country have been built individually and in a scattered way, with participation of the private sector. The Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses" will render it possible to establish a chain of credible hotels of three to five stars across the country. This will make it possible to arrange orderly tours for local and foreign tourists, and offer tours as a competitive high-quality service at more reasonable prices.

14- National will and participation of local communities are among principles of sustainable tourism. The Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses" will create opportunities for participation of people of all classes and income levels in tourism and economic development.

15- Land preparation, promotion of social justice especially justice-based approach to tourism industry, boosting tourism in 31 provinces of the country, and defining new tourism destinations across the country are among main objectives of the project. Wide span of lands introduced in the project is a proof of that, and will be developed even more in future phases.

16- The project has been planned based on research, approach analysis, as well as fundamental and modern theories of development which are presented through combination of the latest scientific approaches. As it is clear, promotion of pre- and post-structure businesses and hotel utilization (forward and backward linkage) as Albert Otto Hirschmann describes in his economic development theory for production units, are all observed in the project. Their quantitative and qualitative presentation is scheduled according to international standards.

17- Implementation of the project will lead to promotion of business atmosphere, especially in tourism industry of Iran. It will also bring about various functions in planning, construction and implementation for every job opportunity in different related businesses. For instance, there will be numerous capacities in the business of hotel equipment production, as well as potentials for training and absorbing labor force in different fields of hospitality.

18- The Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses" prepares grounds for attraction of local and foreign investment. High credit of the government and Social Security Organization granted to the project will guarantee profits of the investors, and avoid outflow of capital from the country.

19- In today's world, tourism industry is more theme-based compared to other economic activities, requiring cooperation with international networks in planning interactive, multifaceted and ultra-national tour packages. The Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses" will allow Iran to utilize international tourism facilities, especially those of Muslim communities across the world.

20- Apart from economic privileges of the project for Iran Social Security Organization and improving its brand, it will result in more profits of participants at economic globalization process and promotion of Iranian-Islamic identity.

21- One hundred hotels under one brand and vast geographical diversity all over the country, especially in talented regions in terms of tourism, would mean a reduction of costs in designing, construction and utilization of the hotels as well as their better quality and cheaper prices for the guests.

22- Depending on local sources and implementing a win-win economic interaction with the world are main principles of the Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses". The project has been designed with regard to the latest expert approaches in tourism, hotel construction and hospitality industries which have several economic benefits all over the country. Moreover, local and foreign investment is welcome in the project, with a greater heed paid to absorption of local investments and less dependence on foreign sources. This is how the project is in line with the approach of economy of resistance.

23- Multiple functions in design of hotels has made it possible for them not to be considered only as residential complexes for guests' night stay. Based on the new approach, hotels are economic phenomena which offer a series of services for residing guests and even for the locals. Offering such services and their economic function is so important that in tourist complexes, the revenues of room rentals is a mere figure almost about the revenues of parking lots. This means that appropriate hospitality facilities lead to more abortion of tourists and people in a commercial area, and improvement of businesses there.

24- The Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses" makes it possible to establish a network of procurement and distribution of services and goods in a homogenous pattern in national and international levels, both for the tourists and for the host local communities. This could work as a proper bedrock for designing and running a network of quality goods and services at more reasonable prices in the form of chain outlets. Customer network of the chain outlets can grow its members to tens of millions, preparing the grounds for promotion of hundreds of other businesses.

25- Considering the fourth strategic principle of HEGTA about an economic approach towards elevation of culture, the Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses" has observed Iranian-Islamic architecture as a principle. Tourist who stay in the hotels, will feel a difference of atmosphere and enjoy sublime Iranian art. The essence of Iranian glorious art is not limited to specific architecture of each province, but is also seen in other services offered and facilities made available for the guests. There will be a lot to offer to the tourists when it comes to folklore and ethnic verities in a glamorous setting. The staff of the hotels will be wearing traditional nice clothes and welcome tourists with customs practiced in the geographical region. This will publicize cultural attractions across the country, and increase the revenues thanks to more visits by local and foreign tourists.

26- Iranian tourism market will be very profitable in near future. Considering this fact, several local and foreign business teams have expressed their interest in investment in the first phase of the Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses", and have suggested to jointly build hotels in major cities which do not have enough number of hotels. Even some major international companies like Vinci, Accor, Bouygues and Ascott have offered projects to construct holes under the brand of HEGTA and HOMA in main cities like Tehran, Shiraz, Esfahan, Mashhad, Ghom, Hamdedan and Bandar Abbas. Even in some cases, designs for incorporating traditional Iranian architecture elements have been conceptualized.

27- The Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses" has anticipated participation of substantial construction and other related companies such as architectural glass, tile, ceramic, elevator systems, hotel equipment, furniture, dishes and curtains, costumes, carpets, hygienic products and kitchen ware. Establishing joint ventures between Iranian companies and international ones will create a basis for technology and knowhow import, which will finally result in improvement of local products' quality.

28- The Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses" can make local designing and architecture companies more active, and help alleviate the economic recess. Absorbing foreign investment, with an emphasis on utilizing potentials of Iranian expatriates in different provinces, is another opportunity put forward through the plan.

29- HEGTA plays the role of a partner, leader, catalyst and guide to the Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses". What is expressed in the project's book, is firstly statement of the subject and presentation of 174 projects, 40 of which belong to Social Security Organization and HEGTA. Other projects have been introduced by provincial governor generals, mayors, regional officials and other organizations, persons and legal entities.
Publishing of the statement and book of the Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses" opens the first chapter of the case. More consultation and suggestions are welcome from every one whose concern is progress of the country. Apart from the plans listed in the first phase of the project, there are several more to be added to the list. HEGTA will carry out feasibility studies and introduce the approved ones in futures issues of the book and its website. The list is still open, and could witness tens of hotels to be added.

30- Social Security Organization owns 10 substantial holdings in different fields. It also owns and manages Bank Refah Kargaran, which acts as an element and facilitator of change in financial processes, investment promotion unit, and an axis of synergy, procurement and production of needed equipment for the project. The organization has more than 40 million policy holders, and ranks second among national service providers in medicine and health. It owns tens of hospitals and clinics, and stands first among drug production companies. Embarking on the project can add up to the capitals, wealth and revenues of the organization and act as a pioneer of economic development in non-oil sector of the country.

31- Importance of tourism industry development and moving towards it has witnessed an increase in towns and even small villages of the country. If the government proves eager to develop the industry, as stated in the major policies of the state, it will be an appropriate opportunity for several organizations and institutions to jointly invest in the project. A number of potential organizations and institutions could be Iranian Investment and Economic and Technical Assistance Organization, local and foreign investment funds, banks and credit institutions, Iranian ambassadors to other counties, Export Development Organization, Iranian commercial offices in foreign counties and foreign ambassadors to Iran. Those interested may put forward their suggestions to be partners in the projects.

32- The private sector plays a major role in implementation of the Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses", and is welcome to participate at any of the projects. Effective and meaningful contribution of the private sector both in executing and implementing the projects is appreciated.

33- Tourism development cannot be materialized in absence of quality hotels. Lack of proper hospitality facilities means no tours can be held in mass numbers. Thus, Article 50 of the major policies of the Sixth Development Plan regarding intended increase of foreign tourists five-fold will not be materialized. This is while the Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses" will prepare grounds for more competitive private sector, and better utilization of tourism market by Iranian tourism agencies.

34- Tourism development in Iran requires stimulation of demand through mass supply of tourism products. Other counties like Malaysia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have implemented the measure, and achieved a lot. The project also intends to increase supply, laying foundation for mass suppliers of tours in Iranian market.

35- Enlarging Iranian tourism market within national, regional and international levels, and creating development and progress dialogues with an approach to utilized national will, are among the main objectives of the Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses". It also seeks to engage local communities more in tourism, and create hundreds of profit making and sustainable business. This is while the current tourism market in Iran is rather traditional, limited and without potential strength to impress economy in a macro scale.

36- The Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses" is mostly following the objective of establishing four- and five-star hotels in major cities of tourist attraction. However, building mediocre hotels as three-star ones in smaller and less developed cities will not be neglected. Each project will have technical and economic feasibility plans, with an approach of building various tourism complexes and improving business atmosphere.

37- If the pivot of economy of resistance is considered to be independence from foreign sources, less dependence on oil income, and winning over limitations and inefficiencies of a rantier state, then development of tourism industry with an emphasis on promotion of local tourism will reduce forex outflow, and more visit by foreign tourists. In other words, when local and foreign tourism is promoted, dependence on oil incomes will substantially decrease, paving the way for materialization of economy of resistance.

38- As Desoto has expressed in his theory of "doing business", 11 principles need to be heeded in every business. All the principles are taken into account in the Project "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses".   Therefore, preparing grounds and starting hundreds of businesses will require government's support, a review in certain policies and promotion of financial aids, offering incentives and expediting bureaucracy.

39- Hotel industry is as complicated as auto industry. At least 36 types of hotels are officially booked in the world today, each one having certain characteristics and functions. Auto industry falls into different price and status categories and classes, from agricultural machineries and cheap sedans, to luxury Porches. Hotel industry is the same, having its own categories, quality indexes and levels. Different classes of hotels, from cheap hostels to luxury hotels have their own functions and related clients. Recognizing these categories, functions and groupings is a deciding factor in the industry, also taken into consideration in the project.

40- The first edition of "100 Hotels – 100 Businesses" book, offers 174 maps of land lots along with explanations, in 31 provinces of the country. The objective is to give a good clue to investors about the future projects. The maps and related information were prepared by local organizations, institutions and provincial officials, in the form of DWG maps and environmental explanations. However, some other projects have much simpler maps with lower quality, and the required information about them will be added in near future for much more specialized approaches. Each project is defined under a certain code, and selection priorities are set according to geographical location, interest and calculations of the participants.
The first chapter of the book is written based on latest information gathered. It is a review on the current status of tourism and hospitality industry in the world and in Iran. In the second chapter, investment opportunities in Iranian hotel industry in each province and city is discussed. The third chapter deals with laws, regulations and approved documents dealing with encouragement of investment in tourism and hospitality sector.
Source :  HEGTA    2016/10/15 09:42

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