Iran of­fers tax breaks to hote­liers to boost tourism in­dus­try

The Myanmar Times - - Business -

IRAN is of­fer­ing up to 13 years of tax hol­i­days to hote­liers as it seeks to boost vis­i­tor num­bers and re­vamp its di­lap­i­dated ho­tels.

“All eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties re­lated to ... tourism will en­joy 100 per­cent tax hol­i­days be­tween five to 13 years de­pend­ing on the re­gion,” deputy econ­omy min­is­ter Mo­ham­mad Khaz­aei told hote­liers from 18 coun­tries who had gath­ered in Tehran.

Since the lift­ing of in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions un­der last year’s nu­clear deal, the mod­er­ate govern­ment of Pres­i­dent Hassan Rouhani has made tourism a top pri­or­ity for re­build­ing Iran’s strug­gling econ­omy.

Vis­i­tor num­bers have al­ready boomed in re­cent years thanks to a par­tial thaw in the coun­try’s re­la­tions with the world, ris­ing from 2.2 mil­lion in 2009 to 5.2 mil­lion in 2015.

The govern­ment hopes to see 300 new ho­tels over the next five years as it seeks rad­i­cal im­prove­ments to its low-qual­ity tourist ac­com­mo­da­tion.

It is hoped a re­ju­ve­nated tourism sec­tor can cre­ate some 140,000 new jobs, with around half com­ing from Iran’s hand­i­crafts sec­tor, said the min­is­ter for roads and ur­ban de­vel­op­ment, Ab­bas Akhoundi.

Projects to build some 170 fourand five-star ho­tels are al­ready un­der way, he added.

“We are work­ing ac­tively on 10 to 15 projects in Iran,” said Christophe Landais, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer for France’s Ac­cor Ho­tels in Iran.

Ac­cor was the first in­ter­na­tional com­pany to open ho­tels af­ter the his­toric nu­clear deal – an Ibis and Novo­tel out­side Tehran’s Imam Khome­ini air­port last Septem­ber.

Tourism made up 7.6 per­cent of Iran’s GDP in 2015, “which we hope to in­crease to about 9pc in 2016”, Mr Khaz­ael added. –

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