Iran's First Tourism Startup Accelerator Launched
EghtesadOnline: A tourism startup accelerator was launched on Tuesday by Iran’s Research Institute of Cultural Heritage and Tourism (RICHT) in cooperation with Allameh Tabataba'i University to support companies active in the gradually growing sector.
Based in Tehran, the accelerator will provide tourism startups with financial support, shared working place, and legal and financial counseling. The accelerator will also help startups write business and marketing strategy, Cultural Heritage and Tourism News website (CHTN.ir) reported.
On its website (sisootech.com), the accelerator has announced that it is willing to support all startups —developed or seed-stage — in the fields of tourism, cultural heritage and handicrafts.
Deputy director of RICHT, Alireza Qolinejad, referred to the environmental crises like soil degradation and water scarcity in rural areas that have endangered livelihoods, Financial Tribune reported.
“Rural folks whose main source of income is from agriculture, are forced to leave their homes and move to less water-stressed regions. With such migration patterns, the historical and cultural heritage of these areas is suffering.”
The accelerator seeks to commercialize innovative ideas in different fields, especially tourism, help lift rural economies and propose new income sources that would replace agriculture, “hoping to make life a bit easier for them.”
One of the important aims is to help curb the migration from rural to urban areas that is emerging as a new challenge for the government.
Head of the Art and Cultural Organization of Tehran Municipality, Saeid Ohaddi took stock of the under-developed tourism infrastructure and said although promotion of tourism infrastructure is a government responsibility, startups can and should help find workable solutions.
The TM is willing to support the accelerators that can contribute to the growth of firms active in the tourism industry, he said.
Promoting knowledge-based companies and startups has been on President Hassan Rouhani’s agenda since he first took office in 2013.