Ashgabat exhibit featuring handicrafts, tourism potentials of Iran

September 28, 2020 - 18:26

TEHRAN – A select of handicrafts and tourism potentials of Iran are being showcased at an exhibition which opened its doors to the public in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, on September 27, concurrent with the World Tourism Day.

Cultural attaches and diplomats from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Azerbaijan were amongst attendees to the opening ceremony of the exhibit at the cultural office of the Islamic Republic.

Addressing the ceremony, Tehran’s ambassador to Ashgabat, Abbas Arbabkhales, expressed hope that the exhibit will be laying the ground for further cultural cooperation between Iran and Turkmenistan.

“This exhibition is organized by the cultural counselor of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Turkmenistan with the aim of getting acquainted with the country’s numerous capacities in the field of handicrafts and tourism and [I hope it would be] the first step to start cooperation in this region, especially between Iran and Turkmenistan.”

“We are ready to host meetings with the cultural representatives of the countries present at this ceremony to expand tourism [ties]…. and to prepare the necessary arrangements for the tourism boom in the post-coronavirus era. [I hope that such cooperation would] pave the way for the prosperity of this industry among the countries of the region, in particular between Iran and Turkmenistan.”

Another speaker was Reza Khanian, the cultural attaché of the Islamic Republic, who also attached importance to broadening ties between Iran and its northeast neighbor, noting “This exhibit of handicrafts and tourism has been set up in Ashgabat to commemorate World Tourism Day and on the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of Turkmenistan’s independence….”

“Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has always underlined paying more attention to [common] cultural elements that exist between Turkmenistan and its neighbors,” Khanian added.

“There is a need that Iran and Turkmenistan to get more familiar with their existing capacities in the field of handicrafts and tourism as the two have many historical and cultural commonalities… That [point of view] has been one of the main objectives of this exhibition, he concluded.

The weeklong exhibit showcases a variety of Iranian handicrafts including enameled works, potteries, woodwork, filigrees, tilework, miniatures, glasswork, personal ornamentation, and it also presents photos depicting top travel destinations of the ancient land.

The Islamic Republic exported $523 million worth of handicrafts during the past calendar year 1398 (ended March 19), of the figure, some $273 million worth of handicrafts were exported officially through customs, and about $250 million was earned via suitcase trade through various provinces, according to data compiled by the ministry of tourism.

The country is considering tourism as a strong alternative for petrodollars, expecting to reap a bonanza from its numerous tourist spots such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers, and mansions, of which 24 being inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, it 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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