Recently Iranian hotels apply a two-currency policy for their bookings; i.e. the Iranian travelers pay in rial, while the foreigners are asked to pay in dollar or euro.
Hotel owners claim that following fluctuations in exchange rate, they have decided to apply this new policy and that this makes it more affordable to Iranian travelers in the country.
However, the travel agencies who organize tours for foreigners are all against such decision, saying that it would only weaken the national currency further.
“You don’t see anywhere in the world that hotels ask foreigners to pay in other currencies. This act means that we openly say that we do not accept our own money and want dollar”, says Ebrahim Pour-Faraj, President of Tour Managers Club in Iran.
He believes that if hotels continue to apply different currencies policy, then other businesses such as restaurants who have to do with tourists would follow suit.
“Additionally, when we organize tours, travelers do not pay us in cash. Therefore, as tour organizers we have to pay dollar or euro to hotels and we don’t have such amount of cash. Hotels say that they have not increased prices after exchange rate has changed. But while staying one night at a 4-star hotel was 200 thousand tomans previously, now it costs 831 thousand tomans”, adds Mr Pour-Faraj.
On the other hand, Hotel Owners Association responds to these critics by saying that such policies can be found in many countries. “This means we are bringing foreign currency to the country and that is a value for our financial system”, says Kamiar Eskadariun, Head of Hotel Owners Association. “This does not mean that such policies will be generalized to other businesses either.”
He also rejects any illegal rise in prices, saying that hotel rates are approved by the Central Bank of Iran.
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