Iran marks World Tourism Day amid plans to boost arrivals

September 28, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran celebrated the World Tourism Day in a ceremony which was held in Zahedan, the capital of southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province, on Saturday, with plans underway aimed to increase the number of foreign visitors to the country.

The celebration was attended by Tourism Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan, hoteliers, tourism experts, tour operators, craftspeople, tour guides, private investors and tens of local officials.

“Each year, September 27th marks the beginning of a new approach towards the world’s immense tourism industry,” Mounesan said in a message on the occasion of World Tourism Day.

Commenting about the motto of “Tourism and Jobs: A Better Future for All”, which the UNTWO has adopted this year, the minister said, “The selection of a motto for the year by the World Tourism Organization is not just a symbolic naming; it is an outcome of the most important features of the present time and future needs of the industry, yet it is a clear and executable strategy for all international tourism activities in the year ahead.”

The motto of ‘Tourism and Jobs: A Better Future for All’ not only explains the mission of those who are active in the field of tourism, but also illuminates the tasks and approaches of all the executives, decision-makers, legislators, planners, and researchers of futures studies for the third industry of the world.“The motto of ‘Tourism and Jobs: A Better Future for All’ is like a beacon for all our plans for the year ahead. This short and illustrative motto not only explains the mission of those who are active in the field of tourism, but also illuminates the tasks and approaches of all the executives, decision-makers, legislators, planners, and researchers of futures studies for the third largest industry of the world.”

Each year, the tourism industry, due to its numerous and growing benefits, attracts the attention of societies and statesmen more than ever, the minister added.

He also noted that the tourism industry could ensure a better world in terms of peace, happiness, and job generation, “The tourism industry promises sustainable development of communities, pledges [more] employment and elimination of unemployment and poverty, and it also supports the equality of opportunities [for all] to bring peace and happiness to the world.”

Tourism, according to UNWTO, has experienced continued expansion and diversification over the past six decades, and it has become one of the fastest growing and most important economic sectors in the world, benefiting destinations and communities worldwide.

“International tourist arrivals worldwide have grown from 25 million in 1950 to nearly 1.3 billion today. Similarly, international tourism revenues earned by destinations around the world have grown from 2 billion U.S. dollars in 1950 to 1260 trillion in 2015. The sector represents an estimated 10 percent of the world’s GDP and 1 in 10 jobs globally,” the organization says.

The UN body also certifies that the tourism’s role in job creation is often undervalued, adding “This is despite the fact that tourism generates 1 percent of world jobs and is included in Sustainable Development Goal 8 for its potential to create decent work.”

It also mentions that new policies are needed in order to maximize tourism’s potential to create more and better jobs, especially for women and youth; to reflect and incorporate ongoing advances in technology; and eventually to address the current mismatch between tourism skills that are taught and those that tourism employers need.

It was the first time that Iran’s official celebration of the event was held out of Tehran. Experts say that Sistan-Baluchestan has a considerable potential to be a major tourist destination as it is home to several distinctive archaeological sites and natural attractions, including two UNESCO World Heritage sites, namely Shahr-e-Soukhteh (Burnt City) and Lut desert, shared with Kerman province.

The Islamic Republic welcomed some four million foreign nationals during the first five months of the Iranian calendar year (started March 21), which shows 30 percent growth year on year. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, the country aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.

AFM/MG

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