After over a decade of offering academic courses on hotel management in state-run and private universities, Iran is still lacking definitive, up-to-date Persian textbooks on the subject.
An article written by the staff of the Persian-language travel news website Donyayesafar.com argues that the government’s focus on developing tourism and improving hotel management must be complemented by quality education at domestic universities and hotel schools.
“However, the standards of these courses are a far cry from what may be considered international. Aside from the fact that there is no standard curriculum, the credibility of the books is still in doubt,” they say.
Therefore, the students are over-reliant on their teachers’ personal experiences and notes, neither of which can be considered credible.
“Reportedly, different universities offer diverse and often non-standard training courses and books, which would best serve as travel brochures than university textbooks,” they add.
While hotel management students are largely preoccupied with completing the course successfully, they are least inclined to find original educational sources in other languages.
Technical tourism and hotel management books are often overlooked by the faculty. Students have to order English books online from abroad at exorbitant prices—that is, if they find a website that delivers to Iran and the student has an international credit card.
The lack of uniformity in content taught at schools and the poor quality of available educational material lead to substandard hotel management, which is driving people toward vacation rentals.
For the past decade, Iran has been working toward improving the quality of its hotels, although progress has been slow.
The Iranian Hoteliers’ Society announced in December 2015 that Hotelschool The Hague — known by its Dutch name Hotelschool Den Haag—will establish its third international branch in Iran.
In January 2016, during President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to France, Tehran and Paris signed several agreements, one of which calls for training Iranian hotel managers and staff by French experts.
Furthermore, the prestigious Swiss hospitality school Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne (Lausanne Hotel School) announced in February last year that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with an Iranian firm to open a college in Isfahan.
Accor Hotels, which operates two properties in Tehran, has announced plans to hold hotel management workshops.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, Iran ranks 119th among 141 countries in terms of tourism infrastructures.