Tourism has been among the main sectors of the Iranian economy that immediately witnessed steady growth after the lifting of international sanctions last year as part of the 2015 nuclear deal.
While the average age of tourists visiting Iran was about 60 only a few years ago, officials say the average age has decreased to between 45 and 50 as more young travelers visit the country. Indeed, Iran, which has been designated as the world's cheapest travel destination by the World Economic Forum in three consecutive biannual reports, has become a new destination for backpackers who prefer to travel at lower cost and avoid luxury hotels and services.
In this regard, hostels, which offer hospitality services at a cheaper standard and a lower cost than hotels, are gaining interest from investors and tourists alike.
Although such hostels remain widely popular around the world, they are still in their infancy in Iran, with only a few established in the capital, Tehran, and major tourist cities in recent years.
Jalal Rashedi, the founder and manager of Seven Hostels Group, told Al-Monitor, "We started the first place in Tehran, which in terms of facilities and vibe, was in accordance with the internationally accepted standards of a typical hostel. Later on, we extended the same theme to other cities such as Shiraz, Esfahan, Alamut and also to a small town near Dizin Ski Resort."
He said Seven Hostels Group began to create a domestic platform for booking hostels in Iran through English-language websites to "facilitate the reservation of tours and also transportation services."
The increase in the number of young foreign tourists who visit Iran is considered a key factor behind the growing number of hostels across the country.
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