Mehdi Zand, General Manager of GapaTour tells us about the best Iran travel agency and tour operator.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Mehdi Zand: Fortunately we are ok and good. We are trying to keep up with the standard protocols.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded GapaTour.
Mehdi Zand: Actually this is our family business. Since 2002 we have been committed to this business and we don’t look at this company just as a business; it’s our life and home.
How does GapaTour innovate?
Mehdi Zand: We have two goals. First of all, the commitment to the highest quality of services and hospitality. The second is using the best and newest facilities like wheels, and software.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Mehdi Zand: First of all we try to be safe from this global pandemic but honestly nobody can say this pandemic didn’t have any effect on their business. As we know the worst effects are in the tourism industry; some small companies already closed, changed their business model while others like us are too old and cannot give up very fast. This is because it’s our family business and actually it’s not only like a business to us; it’s our life and character.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Mehdi Zand: Of course, life is full of lessons, especially when something like this is happening. This is a situation you don’t know what’s going on, so it’s difficult to believe the truths and facts. We have learned how much life, health, people, and humanity are precious. We learned our business is very important. Just look at the people in the whole of the world, almost everybody is sad. This tells us humans are social beings and they are getting sad and more sad because they cannot have a free life, vacation, trips, and travel. Now we understand our business is like doctors who treat your mood.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Mehdi Zand: We are updating our business and employees with this situation like to check regularly our staff with COVID test before our passengers’ arrival, making a contract with hotels to have all safety and protocols about the rooms, arranging all facilities like a mask, disinfectant solution, checking the situation, news and thus informing our clients, etc.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Mehdi Zand: Other companies and sometimes the situation in life. it’s difficult to answer this part here but we are doing our best, innovating and trying and not downgrading the quality of our services.
Your final thoughts?
Mehdi Zand: Opening a new style of this business in the future with many branches in many countries
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