Internet limitations Tourism startups exposed to great danger. These startups are subject to complete destruction.
Tourism startups Iranians have lost from 20 to 100 percent due to internet restrictions. Certainly tourism industry It has been one of the most vulnerable industries in the country recently. But this industry in our country has suffered more than other countries in the last few days. In recent years, the Internet and electronic platforms have become an integral part of the online tourism industry, and any disruption in these platforms and communication channels disrupts the entire ecosystem.
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Tourism startups are at risk of destruction
It has been almost two months now Internet restrictions, the businesses in this area, like many other businesses, have faced a new crisis. Now not only the interaction between customers and travel service providers, due to filtering Social Networks (Instagram and WhatsApp) have been limited, but the problems that have repeatedly arisen in connection with international Internet access and SMS sending have also disrupted the process of issuing visas and tickets and coordinating travel plans.
The statements of managers of active companies in this area indicate that because Internet restrictions And the social conditions these days, many trips that were even booked long ago have been canceled and current sales have also seen a significant drop.
On the other hand, most Startups active in the field of tourismThey announce the suspension of their marketing activities, which were mainly done digitally, and they are very worried about the conditions of the coming months. All this has happened while in the last three years the tourism industry has been affected due to the restrictions caused by Corona epidemic He was under a lot of pressure and since the beginning of this year, when the wave of this disease was subsiding, he was trying to return to normal conditions.
Many believe tourism industryIt is one of the most vulnerable industries, and any small tension, whether economic, social, political, etc., can have negative and profound effects on it. In the last three years, the Corona epidemic broke the back of this industry; With the gradual subsidence of the waves of the Corona epidemic, the boom was returning to the travel market, when a new crisis arrived.
Since the end of September this year Internet restrictions And Filtering social networks, has faced many problems in the tourism industry and not only the sales of travel service providers have dropped, but also many previous tours and trips have been canceled due to the recent unrest. Reza Alfat Nasab, member of the board of directors of the union Internet businesses Recently, in an interview with “Khabaronline”, he announced the sharp drop in sales of airline websites.
Stating that the recent internet disruptions have created different restrictions in the service of operators in different geographical areas, he says:
Many users with problems in connecting to the Internet have lost access to sites and applications for selling plane tickets and other travel services, or faced great difficulty in the ticket purchase process. Of course, the managers of communication departments have repeatedly denied the outage and serious disruption in the country’s Internet network, but the experience of users does not match the statements of these managers.
In order to confirm the destructive effects of recent internet restrictions on the tourism industry, Qutbnema (one of the specialized media in the field of tourism) has recently published a detailed report.
In this report, referring to the interviews conducted with the managers of 15 tourism and hotel businesses, it is stated: “Perceptible drop in sales” and “cancellation of reserved services” have been one of the most serious consequences of the internet restrictions of the last two months for these businesses; So that these companies have experienced a 20-100% decrease in their sales, depending on the type of services they provided; In this way, out of 15 businesses responding to this question, 5 businesses have announced a 40-60% drop in sales; Another 5 businesses have seen a 60-80% decrease in sales, and 5 businesses have seen a decrease in sales of more than 80%.
Read more: The definite loss of the Internet for the country’s tourism industry; 90% of tours have been canceled!
According to this report, the lowest amount of loss in sales was reported only by “Alibaba Travels” company, which also witnessed a 20% decrease in sales. Domestic and foreign trips have been. “Safiran Medgo” company, one of the start-ups under the “Alibaba” branch, has also announced the cancellation of 20-30% of its reservations and a decrease in its sales. Filtering It has even had a negative effect on the direct booking of travel services through social networks; As Ramtin Sehat, the owner of the “Nar TT” tourist resort, told “Qutabnama”: “More than 80% of our bookings were made directly, which was lost with the loss of our business platforms such as Instagram“Direct bookings have also been severely affected.”
The undeniable role of the Internet in international interactions
Of course, the range of problems and Internet restrictions The recent for the tourism industry is much more than the disruption created in the processes related to the online purchase of tickets and tours for travelers. Many tourism startups emphasized in statements that with the disruption in Internet and SMS systems was created, information about changes in travel plans and flight times was also disrupted. Taqi Hosseinzadeh, the secretary of the Electronic Tourism Association, reported in an interview about the problem in issuing tickets that were reserved a long time ago, and this issue created another irregularity in the travelers’ plans. He emphasized that now the nature is different tourism industry It is such that a large part of the necessary coordination is done instantly and remotely (generally through virtual space), he added:
The same problems that were created in coordination caused businesses to suffer heavy losses; Because companies generally have hotel and flight guarantees, and when they can’t sell, they have to pay out of pocket.
In its report, “Qatbnama” has also emphasized the impact of internet disruptions on the slowness or stoppage of the visa issuance process of foreign countries, stating that these problems were very noticeable in some countries such as the countries of the Schengen area such as France, Switzerland and Spain. According to the “Compass” report, some European embassies had declared the internet outage as the reason for the suspension of the visa issuance process. Of course, they emphasized some time later that this process has not stopped and is only progressing slowly. The manager of one of the agencies known for organizing outbound tours told this media: “The tours whose visa work was done in September were held until the third of Mehr; But from this date onward, no more visas were issued to hold a tour. In other words, we had a request to travel in October and November, but actually the visa issuance process and tour implementation were affected by recent events; Even the visas that were issued remained in the embassy and reached us with a huge delay, and no new visa requests were sent to the embassies for 40 days since the beginning of the social changes.” He clarified: “Finally, despite the registration of passengers and the signing of contracts, almost all tours were canceled and even the passengers who had registered for Azar tours canceled their trips.”
In recent years, the Internet and electronic platforms have become an integral part of the online tourism industry, and any disruption in these platforms and communication channels disrupts the entire ecosystem. Ali Akbar Abdul Maleki, the head of the tourism and related businesses commission in the Iran Chamber, emphasized the importance of the Internet in the management of the tourism industry these days in the country.
Anyway, a large part of the interactions of the activists in the field of tourism and industries related to it, including advertising, art, sports, etc., were taking place on two platforms, WhatsApp and especially Instagram. Activists in this field had turned to these two applications after Telegram filtering and had adapted themselves to these conditions in these years. But unfortunately, with the new restrictions, these businesses have faced a serious threat.
He continued by explaining the necessities and needs of the custodians of this area to move things forward: “For example, for Issuance of plane tickets or send documents, Internet restrictions And slowing it down has put us in trouble.” Pointing out that coordinating foreign trips requires us to be constantly connected to the international internet and interact with foreign sites, Abdul Maleki clarified: “We are in contact with foreign airlines and to get a ticket from foreign sites, we must use a filter breaker to For this reason, that foreign site identifies us as a hacker and cuts off our access.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Communications, in response to people’s complaints about the problems that Filtering Platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp Create, use them Internal platforms Refers Criticizing this approach of policy makers, Abdul Maliki states:
We are told to replace internal messengers and platforms with external ones. But the question is, how can we use these built-in messengers and platforms when people don’t trust them as much as they should. In addition, do these internal platforms basically have the capacity to use a large number of users!?
Referring to the limited ecosystem of these native platforms and their placement on the national information network, which is practically isolated from the international Internet, he adds: “Communication is a two-way thing and we cannot build a wall around ourselves. When external users can use Internal platforms They don’t have us or don’t trust us at all, how do we want to communicate with tourists from other countries.”
Attractive Instagram showcase for travelers
Behind every decision made for travel, a lot of Internet searches It lies in choosing the destination and the method of departure to that destination. Some unofficial statistics provided by experts in the field of tourism indicate that 80% of people search for destination information and check travel options including ticket purchase, hotel reservation or tour on the Internet before traveling. For this reason, service companies spend a lot of money every year to produce attractive content Social Networks and web space and fight to achieve higher positions in search engines.
Read more: Nasr Country’s estimate of filtering: 11 million people’s income depends on Instagram!
In a part of the “Compass” report, “stopping marketing activities” (especially digital marketing) as one of the serious harms. Internet disordersThe latter has been mentioned. Digital marketing has been the main marketing channel of such businesses, but to continue their activities in this field, in addition to the challenge of severe disruption of the Internet and Filtering social networks Popular Nazir Instagram which has been one of the main platforms of tourism marketing, they have also been struggling with another issue; Inappropriate mental state of tourists and virtual users. According to the data of the “Compass” report, 15 of the surveyed companies have announced that they have stopped most of their marketing activities in the last month and a half, and none of them are following up these activities as before. 75% of the respondents estimated the reduction of their marketing activities between 80 and 100%.
With such conditions, the development process of many businesses has also stopped. Some small businesses and startups like Ataqq have decided to work on their offline advertising as part of their business development process. “Avayar” and some other start-ups, which were trying to attract capital, have reported that they have stopped their negotiations in this field. Babak Sohrabi, the founder of “Jajiga” in a conversation with “Qutabnama”, emphasized the change in the approach of businesses in this field and added:
At one time, our focus was on identifying and recruiting talent. But now we have reached a point where not only are we not attracted, but we are trying not to have to adjust the current forces. Therefore, it seems that the development of start-ups and even more established businesses is placed in the next priorities.
Although at first glance, perhaps the role of the Internet and Social Networks At tourism industry It may not seem so bold, but it can be seen how much all the business sectors of this industry are tied to these new digital communications and how much the smallest disruption in any communication path, even SMS, disrupts the affairs of this field. Although always many Social Networks The so-called foreign, especially Instagram They have been criticized by policymakers in different ways, but now their prominent role in the prosperity of various businesses and also the tourism industry cannot be ignored. In all these years, the high potential of this image-based social network has turned it into an attractive tool for attracting the attention of tourism companies and encouraging them to travel, and it is unlikely that such a position can be ignored in the long term.
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