Hamedan talks raise awareness of high-techs in support of tourism

November 14, 2018

TEHRAN – The city of Hamedan hosted a United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) session this week, which highlighted harnessing cultural tourism by the means of cutting-edge technologies.

International representatives, scholars and academia from across the globe met on November 12-14 during the 40th UNWTO Affiliate Members Plenary Session to discuss how new technologies can guide tourism development.

Quality of tourist experiments, accessibility of attractions, wellbeing of residents and guest populations were amongst examples that speakers at the conference referred to.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili talked on the issue, defining that innovations are to preserve intangible and tangible heritage resources, UNWTO website reported.

“Technology and innovation, including ICT, can improve the quality of the tourist experience. It can improve governance, profits and the wellbeing of residents. And it can preserve intangible and tangible heritage resources for the sustainable development of cultural tourism,” Pololikashvili said.

Vice-President Ali-Asghar Mounesan reminded attendees of links between host and guest populations.

“The world’s diverse range of culture and heritage form the best means and ways to connect peoples of the world – but only if the rights and privileges of both host and guest populations are respected and responded to. And innovation and technology can help,” said Mounesan who also heads Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization.

The seminar agreed that informed governance and policies surrounding uptake of new technologies and innovative practices can guide tourism development and open doors for the sector, with conservation and revitalization of cultural heritage one of its main benefits.

It also stressed that innovation and technology should empower, rather than disenfranchise, host populations and communities and can assist them in retaining their authenticity, while cultural heritage development and preservation should be a part of local and national plans for socioeconomic development through tourism and technology.

The event was co-organized by the UNWTO, CHHTO and Alisadr Tourism Company, concluding that cultural and heritage attractions are key to tourism development in many countries around the world, and innovation and technology can make these attractions more accessible while preserving their essence.

Hamedan is currently taken on appearance of the “capital of Asian tourism in 2018”, a privilege which was approved in the second ACD Tourism Ministers Meeting held in Cambodia, June 2017.

AFM/MQ/MG

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