IRAN WFTGA 2017 Convention: Achievements of 4-month Teamwork

The year of 2015 and the 16th Convention of World Federation of Tourist Guides Associations (WFTGA) in the capital of Czech Republic, Prague, was a memorable event for Iranian tourist guides society as they have acquired the host of the largest and the most important international gathering of tourist guides thanks to the hard work and efforts of the representatives. World needs a better positive insight through Iran's heritage and history, so it is believed that this event would bright the light in the future route of tourism development in Iran.         
Taking advantage of the enthusiastic volunteer tourist guides, the campaign of "Iran WFTGA 2017 Convention" have been started to work since the beginning of June 2015. Elaborating 17th WFTGA Convention in Iran, the first performance seminar was held in Ghasr Museum, the permanent Hall of the IFTGA (Iran Federation of Tourist Guides Associations) meetings on 27th October 2015, with the presence of the officials and specialists in tourism industry.  
Each committee explained to the audience their accomplishments in the course of past 4 months.       
Cultural & Education, Advertisement & International Relations, Advertisement & Public Relations, Marketing & Sponsorship, Catering & Hospitality, Cooperating, Financial & Legal Committees and writing books, translation, Websites & social media groups(into at least two languages of Farsi & English) are the groups of the Convention. All of them have some subdivisions with certain responsibilities towards the Convention main purposes.        
Secretary-General of the Tehran Convention, Mohsen Haji saied, in his opening address said: The event of Convention would be a historic turning point in the country's tourism industry since representatives from all around the world would commend distinct traits of Iran. Referring to the importance of having a systematic plan for the event, he added: "By means of this occasion, Iran needs to improve the infrastructures and welfare facilities promptly, and speeding up the process to get Visas and insurances to attract more tourists and make them satisfy as a deserved host".  
The next section of the seminar was dedicated to display a short movie of Ruby Roy, the vise president of WFTGA. She congratulated Iranian tourist guides to host the next WFTGA Convention and said:" This would be a decisive event for growth the tourism industry in Iran.  The Convention has a noteworthy outcome to bump the tourism up for the host as the rest of the world knows it well, and this time is for Iran's to strengthen it. Today WFTGA is the only global forum for tourist guides to communicate and for countries to grow the changes of this industry. It facilitates the exchange of information between the members.  
Iranian tourist guides are so much able and aware to introduce their country, she said and added: "The Convention would be a very good opportunity for them to fulfill that".  
Zhaleh Ibrahimi, vise-president of the board in TTGA (Tehran Tourist Guides Association) and the head of Educational Committee of the Convention, said:" To train professional tourist guides is the most essential part of our work. The committee is included in expert old handed guides".      
Climbing the mount Damavand, the highest peak in Iran and in the Middle East, was done by a group of 24 eco-tourism guides from several provinces of Iran to support the Convention, said Parviz Shojaee Parsa, the head of Sport Committee.  
Publishing the informative book of Iranian Hospitality would be a new record for the Iranian tour leaders, investigate in two parts of library and field study, said Lida AliNejad , the representative for the Hospitality Group, a sub-division of cultural committee. 
'The Records of Iran' is another forthcoming book, to be unveiled on the next Book Fair as saying Golnaz Dezfuli.    
An Iranian tourist couple, Samira Fallah & Mohammad Reza Afshar, presented their documentations such as slides and photos. To support and promote the Convention and to introduce the Iranian culture and other precious assets, they have started a journey throughout the country.  
The committee of Translation had wrapped up proceedings during past few months with competence and translated related texts (news, essays & itineraries) from/into Persian, English, French and German languages. "Iran; Friendly Faces, Open Arms, Ancient Cultures, Timeless Charms", the slogan for the Convention was also drafted and confirmed by the committee said the head, Somayeh MahdaviNia.  
Sharing first-hand news in famous four media, Facebook, Linkedin, Googleplus, & Instagram, in fraction of a second is the responsibility of the Social Media team, said Saeed Ayyobi, head of the team and added:" Our pages are quickly growing in followers and it shows persons curiosity to visit Iran".  
To implement 'strengthening the infrastructure plan', Dard-e Del Campaign is going to help to solve the bathrooms low quality, said Raha Akhondan, creator of the campaign and requested the governmental and private sector to join. 
Mehdi Anbar, deputy of the Heritage, handicrafts and Tourism Organization of Tehran, informed the audience about dedicating a suitable work office to the Convention.  
At the end of the seminar, Arash Noor Aghae, head of the Convention, appreciated the hard team work and unity of the Iranian tour leaders to record such a historic event and said: "This is an influential start ending with delightful happenings to hold the Tehran WFTGA 2017 Convention inimitable".    
Translated by: Mina Mehdinia
Posted: 11/21/15

WTM 2015: China, Mexico and Iran tipped as emerging destinations

China, Mexico and Iran (pictured) have been tipped as the top emerging destinations by British holidaymakers and senior executives polled at World Travel Market (WTM).

In the WTM annual industry report, brought together through a poll of 2,050 stakeholders (buyers and exhibitors at the show) and 1,038 British holidaymakers, the three destinations were said to be ones to watch in coming years.

According to the poll, more than half of the holidaymakers quizzed expressed an interest in visiting China. A further two thirds of industry leaders predicted an increase in business in China for 2016.

The news comes just weeks after the UK and Chinese governments signed a deal to boost tourism between the two countries.

The report stated: “More than 570,000 British nationals visit mainland China every year, but the pent-up desire to visit coupled with recent diplomatic and marketing partnerships look set to boost this number.”

The results also showed that 50% of holidaymakers were interested in travelling to Mexico and 16% were keen to visit Iran.

Of the business leaders quizzed, three out of 10 said they believed they would do more business in Iran in 2016.

This year, the largest ever Iranian delegation is exhibition at WTM, looking to agree deals with tour operator and agents.

Cox & Kings announced last month it would start selling holidays to Iran next year.




Posted: 11/14/15

Tour guides ‘future builders’ of Iran’s tourism industry: WFTGA

TEHRAN – Tour guides have a major role to play in building the future of Iran’s tourism industry and should be the core of it, the Vice President of the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) Ruby Roy said. 
She described Iran as a country with “incredible historical and cultural treasures which were unforgettable”. 
She made the remarks in a video interview, which was screened at a status meeting held by the Iran Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (IFTGA) on providing preliminaries for next WFTGA Convention, which will be held in 2017 in Iran. 
Roy said that a huge reform and improvement in the country’s tourism infrastructures is needed. 
Roy referred to the improvement of roadside rest stops, hotels and facilities as necessary in the country. 
She termed her Iranian colleagues as incredibly knowledgeable, well travelled, interesting, and well educated. “They are what bring the treasures of Iran alive,” she said. 
Several officials, tourism activists, and heads of provincial offices of the IFTGA attended the meeting. 
During the meeting, different committees presented reports about achievements of the Convention in different fields. 
The meeting is a follow-up to four-month activities of over 350 volunteers who are active in the field of tourism industry, the IFTGA president Arash Nooraghayee said. 
He added that despite all deficiencies, IFTGA does its best to hold a perfect convention. 
Also at the meeting, IFTGA member Mohsen Haji-Saeid made a short speech about achievements of the Convention during past months, saying that some hotels announced their readiness to host the Convention. 
He also pointed to the good coverage of Iran’s tourism news and attractions offered by the Convention’s social networks and websites during past months. 
Then, Oveys Kiani, the head of Zanjan Province’s Federation of Tourist Guide Association, said that a carpet, featuring the WFTGA Convention 2017 logo, is being woven in Kerman and it will be ready before the event is held. 
The committees are also providing a book about Iranian records in the field of cultural and natural attractions, he said, adding that the book will be offered at the 29th Tehran International Book Fair, which will be held in May 2016. 
This is the first time Iran bids to host the Convention, a biannual gathering of tourist guides from more than 70 countries, in 2017. 
The motto of the Convention is “Iran; Friendly Faces, Open Arms, Ancient Cultures, Timeless Charms”. 
“One Million Green Lights” and “Clean Washrooms” are the two campaigns initiated by the committees for the Convention. 
Having Iran to host the event was a collective effort that took over five months, he said, adding that a group of eight tourist guides and tens of others worked together dedicatedly to prepare the bid documents for the association. 
WFTGA is a non-profit making professional organization dedicated to the promotion of high standards of training and ethics within the profession. 
The association aims to establish contact with tourist guide associations throughout the world, to reinforce their professional ties and to promote and protect the interests of professional tourist guides; to represent professional tourist guide associations internationally and to work for the improvement of the quality and reputation of the profession of tourist guides worldwide.
Posted: 11/03/15

First "Hands On Guiding" and "Train the Trainer" course in Warsaw, Poland on October 17-30, 2015

First "Hands On Guiding" and "Train the Trainer" course was organised in Warsaw, Poland. Delivered from 17th till 30th October 2015 by WFTGA Lead International Trainer Iris Barry and International Trainer Radoslaw Szafranowicz-Maloziec. Supported by Polish Chamber of Tourism.

Posted: 10/26/15

WFTGA International Trainer Jassim Zaiton and Cruise cooperation partner Grant Holmes contributed to the launch of “Tour Guides Open Day” in Bahrain, October 18, 2015

Under the patronage of His Excellency Mr. Zayed R. Alzayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism the “Tour Guides Open Day” is launched Sunday morning at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.

In his speech, the minister referred to the Ministry’s recent focus to implement plans and programs aimed at enhancing tourism sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain being an important economic sector. The minister said that “the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism within its orientations to enhance the economic sector in the Kingdom, put developing tourism sector at the forefront of its priorities and working to develop plans and programs to upgrade this vital sector including training tour guides and enable them to get a professional license in this important sector, tourist guides is one of the basics of tourist attraction that the kingdom seeks to develop it and qualify human cadres working in this sector,” 

key speakers of the open day are Jassim Zaiton and Grant Holmes. The  event is attended by a large number of representatives such as hotels, travel and tourism bodies and others.

The training workshop which has begun on October 11 until October 15 is a part of series training workshops aimed develop tourist guide profession, which considered one of the basics of tourist attraction.

Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Mr. Zayed bin R. Al Zayani attended training workshop for tourist guides, which was launched on Sunday evening. He expressed ministry’s keenness and support to develop this profession stating “these workshops are national program the ministry aims through it  to create and develop a new career, where after the completion of the current team, the profession will be limited to this licensed category to do this work. This is a national honesty the ministry keen to maintain it  through the history of Bahrain.”

The workshop is divided into two parts, theoretical and  practical, focusing on training the tourist  guides about the best tourist guides behaviors. The program also includes tours to some archaeological and tourist sites in Bahrain.  







Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre
Posted: 10/19/15

UNWTO Area Meeting: Ghana - WFTGA Area Representative Report

WFTGA Members Sam Baddo and Paul Romeo Assessi attended the UNWTO Regional Conference in Accra Ghana from 17-19August 2015
Area Representative Report

Posted: 08/28/15

Visa On Arrival: Iran

Iran Extends Upon arrival Visa Validity to 30 Days for 58 Countries and soon, will rise to 190 countries
Iran has extended airport visa validity from 15 to 30 days and tourists will be able to ask airport visa for 30 days in all border airports. Iranian government's recent decision to increase the validity length on visas is an effort to attract more tourists. Vice-president of Iran and Head of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), Masoud Soltanifar, on the sidelines of Eco(Economic Cooperation Organization) cooperation meeting on handicrafts held in Tehran, said the increase of the validity length on visas was put into practice as a result of the escalating number of incoming tourists and travel demands to Iran. Cultural Tourism development, which is one of the most central policies undertaken by Rouhani administration, would pave the way to the rise of tourist inflow; the soaring rate of which is expected after Iran’s nuclear deal as expressed by Soltanifar. The basic steps have been taken as cabinet approves the enactment of the rise of visa on arrival (VOA) from 15 to 30 days as Soltanifar said and added visa extensions can be done if tourists apply for. He added, according to government legislation, soon visa on arrival will issue for nations of 190 countries.
Airport visa can be obtained only by tourists but not diplomatic, business, temporary worker, and journalist visas.
More information on our website:
Electronic Visas to Be Issued Next Year
In addition to the increase in validity of airport visa to 30 days, Soltanifar added that the government approved another tourism act, according to which e-visa will be issued in cooperation with the ministry of intelligence, ministry of interior affairs and ministry of Foreign affairs of Islamic republic of Iran next year. 
As a result, Iran Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (IFTGA) would like to take this opportunity to welcome international guests to Iran. We are excited to share our country and culture with visitors and establish positive rapport between our nations.
Mohsen Hajisaied
Secretary of 17th WFTGA Convention

Posted: 08/25/15
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