UNWTO ready to help Iran develop comprehensive tourism plan

December 7, 2019 - 19:18

TEHRAN - The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is ready to extend cooperation with Iran in order to help the country develop a comprehensive tourism plan, UNWTO advisor Marcello Notarianni said on Saturday.

He expressed his satisfaction that growth of tourism is among priorities of the Islamic Republic, IRNA reported.

Notarianni is an expert on sustainable tourism who has served as tourism consultant in about 30 countries.

“It’s very important that every travel-associated person [or business] could be involved in this area, so I am here to gather information and data to develop a comprehensive plan.”

He made the remarks in a Tehran meeting with deputy tourism minister Vali Teymouri and several other relevant experts and media personnel.

The UNWTO consultant noted that each department should play its own role and place in this comprehensive program.

He also reminded a list of [main] priorities in terms of education, laws, and regulations (standards and sustainability), financial problems and attraction of funds for tourism industry development.

Marketing and advertising, visa-related issues and facilities for foreign arrivals, destination management, experience management (XM), creating unique [customer] experiences, issues concerning rural tourism and local communities were among other priorities the expert mentioned.

Teymouri for his part reminded that Iran’s tourism sector has [untapped] capacity to replace oil revenues.

“Iran with more than 7,000 years of written history and climate diversity is one of the most sought-after tourism destinations in the world. And there are so many historical rituals, each having their own native culture, cousin, clothing, and music, [a phenomenon] that is appealing to tourists,” Teymouri said.

“To stimulate drawing up the plan, we are ready to organize and coordinate with all tourism-related departments to meet with the World Tourism Organization’s advisor,” the Iranian official noted.

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.

AFM/MG

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