The Challenges of International Travel and Domestic Travel among Iranians
According To Iran News, International travel used to be a popular and prestigious holiday activity for Iranians, but the value of Iranian Rial has decreased rapidly in the past few years and judging by our sales statistics at trip.ir, many Iranians can’t afford airplane ticket and hotel reservation for international travels anymore. Apart from the heavy expenses and the problematic currency exchange rate, the government has been increasing the departure tax lately. These are the reasons why the rate of international travel for Iranians has decreased by 6.5% in the first 3 months of 1398, compared to the previous year.
Since international travel is not cost-beneficial for many Iranians anymore and is even frowned upon and criticized as a luxurious benefit that no normal family would be able to afford, the demand for domestic travel has increased. Nowadays, many Iran tourist attractions that used to be almost empty, are rife with new tourists.
The Challenges Iranians have for International Travels
As was mentioned, international travel has become less popular among Iranians. Let’s review the causes, this time with more detail:
- High Price of Airplane Tickets: The overly expensive airplane tickets are perhaps the biggest obstacle for traveling abroad. The price of airline tickets has tripled or even quadrupled in a very short period, mostly due to the heavy sanctions. The sections have had a deep effect on all aspects of the economy, but their effect on the price of airplane tickets for international flights has been especially severed. because unlike domestic flights, their price is determined by international currency, not Rial. Airline companies have tried to minimize their loss by decreasing the number of flights and increasing the price of tickets, resulting in unaffordable prices, especially when the demand is high, like during the holidays.
- High Price of Hotel Reservation: Even if Iranians manage to find an affordable ticket to their desired destination, reserving a hotel room might cause problems since they have to be paid for with Euro or Dollar. When it comes to international travel, the distinction between “cheap hotels” and “expensive hotels” has become less clear for Iranians. Of course, some travel agencies have tried to make hotel rooms more affordable for customers by offering special price packages and special tours. but nowadays, most of people go abroad for work-related reasons – namely businessmen and representatives of big businesses – and they won’t need these kinds of aids. For others, considering how high the prices are, these financial aids might still not make the prices affordable.
- High Departure Tax: With the government’s new enactment in 1397, the departure tax increased considerably. According to this law, passengers have to pay 2,20,000 Rials as a departure tax. The passengers who exit Iran the second or third time, have to pay 3,30,000 and 4,400,000 Rials respectively. This departure tax has harmed the Iranians’ tendency towards international travel.
Challenges of Domestic Travel among Iranians
While the popularity of domestic travel is on the rise, this form of travel also has its problems. Some of them are unique to domestic travel, while some of them overlap with the challenges of international travel. To name a few:
- High Price of Airplane Tickets: While the price of airplane tickets for domestic travel is lower than international travel, it is still expensive for many Iranians. For example, according to the prices listed on the “Trip. IR”, a one week trip to Kish in winter would cost between 1.5 to 2 million Tomans for two people, and that’s the price of plane tickets alone. Of course, that might not seem a lot, but we need to consider the fact that in times of economic hardship, luxuries such as traveling are among the first casualties. So even if we were to ignore international travel, the high price of airplane tickets is an issue that needs to be fixed.
- General Inflation: In the past few years, Iran has faced a serious inflation problem and there was a sudden price spike for all sorts of the commodity. This is why even when Iranians plan to travel within the country, they try to minimize their costs by not buying souvenirs, eating at cheaper restaurants and even camping outdoors, instead of renting hotel rooms.
- Obscurity of Iranian Tourist Destinations: Due to its rich history and four-season climate, Iran has the potential to be one of the most attractive tourist attractions in the world. There are architectural wonders in Iran comparable to the world-famous Gothic cathedrals of Europe, but there is not enough effort to present a tourist-friendly image of the country to the world and this is why these attractions don’t get the attention they deserve, even among Iranians themselves.
How “Trip. IR” Can Help the Growth of Domestic Tourism
Even though international and domestic travel both have their disadvantages, in the current circumstances, domestic traveling seems more cost-beneficial. However, some companies are trying to smooth out the process of traveling for Iranians in these difficult times and reduce the negative effects of the challenges mentioned above. “Trip” is one of such companies.
“Trip.ir” is an online travel agency that plans to make traveling as easy and stress-free as possible for Iranians. The website provides a list of options for buying airplane tickets and hotel reservations and the customer can choose the most desired option based on the prices. The trip also offers special tours with reasonable discounts and provides travel insurance, which covers the medical expenses of the customer’s voyage. Also, in case the customers lose their passport or any other important document, the travel insurance will cover their loss.
Apart from the challenges mentioned, one of the reasons for people’s reluctance to travel is the lack of information and unfamiliarity with the sources. Many people wrongly think that the process of buying an airplane ticket and reserving a hotel is complicated and time-consuming, so they don’t bother at all, even though they might be interested in the idea of traveling.
Thanks to websites like “Trip.ir”, all the information a customer might need to put their mind at ease is laid out before them, even down to the preferred hour of departure. Thanks to these online features and the transparency they provide, customers can reduce their engagement with the more rudimentary aspects of traveling to a minimum.
In the future, if the economic situation improves and the government manages to present a more appealing image of Iranian tourist destinations and cultural sites, we are going to witness a rise in Iranian tourism industry and websites like “Trip.ir” are more than eager to facilitate this process.
For more information you can check out the Trip.ir website as well: