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

British Embassy Re-opens in Tehran

The foreign secretary of the United Kingdom (Philip Hammond) has travelled to  Iran to reopen the embassy. He will be Britain’s first top diplomat to visit the Iranian capital in nearly 14 years. And the Iranian embassy in London will be opened likewise. It is expected that Tehran-London relations will be normalized, including in consular affairs and issuance of visas, after the two countries diplomats and embassy staff return to their work.
Following the nuclear agreement between Iran and 5+1, there are high hopes that Iran’s tourism industry will increase substantially. Already just two weeks after the nuclear deal, UK foreign affairs have announced that there is no limitation for its citizens traveling to Iran, though borders with Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are still off limits Tourism has always been a major focus of the 11th Iranian Presidential administration. From the beginning of Dr Rouhani’s term the number of inbound tourists in Iran has risen, leading to increased demands for tourist guides.
Iran Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (IFTGA) would like to take this opportunity to welcome British citizens and above all our British colleagues to Iran.
Mohsen Hajisaeid
Secretary of 17th WFTGA Convention

Posted: 08/25/15

Iranians To Submit Innovative Ideas for Nationwide Tourism Festival

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran’s Cultural Heritage Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) plans to hold the second edition of Iran Tourism Festival, which promotes nationwide contribution of trip trotters to tourism industry.
The festival calls Iranians to introduce lesser known travel destinations and attractions of the country through photos, memoirs, 60-second films as well as innovative proposals.
“The festival will be held nationwide however we acclaim ideas, which can be useful to attract foreign tourists as well,” CHTHO Deputy Director for Tourism Affairs Morteza Rahmani-Movahhed told the Tehran Times in a press conference on Sunday.
The festival is considered as a bridge between travelers and organizations, which are policy makers in tourism industry, he added.
The participants can submit their works to the secretariat of the gala until August 22, he said.
The winners will be announced during World Tourism Day celebration on September 27, he added.
Iran’s Tourism industry is blooming!
According to Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015 conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Iran is the most affordable country for tourists amongst the 141 countries.
Price Competitiveness in the Tourism and Travel Industry is the lower costs related to travel in a country increase its attractiveness for many travelers as well as for investing in the T&T sector.
Iran made it onto the top destination lists of major publications such as The Financial Times and The Guardian last year thanks to sights that include 2,500-year old ruins at Persepolis near Shiraz and 16th-century Islamic architectural gems in Isfahan.
Iran is home to some of the world’s most magnificent historical and archaeological sites. Relics of a proud ancient civilization include: Persepolis, the capital of the largest empire that the world has ever seen; the city of Isfahan; Shiraz, the city of love and poetry; and Hamadan, where Avicenna, the father of early modern medicine, is buried.
UNESCO has declared 16 world heritage sites in Iran, which was historically referred to as Persia in the west until the 20th century.
Article reprinted from Teheran Times (Iran)

Posted: 07/17/15

The Tourist Guide Profession Loses Two Champions

It is with great sadness that we announce the untimely death of two dear friends and colleagues
Annie Passot Tomianka (France):  Founder of the Fédération Nationale des Guides Interprétes et Conférenciers (FNGIC 1981) and 30 years on the Executive Board of Fédération Européene de Guides (FEG), also two years its President. She has been a hospitable and efficient colleague, taking up the contacts with UNESCO at a very early time (1986) and discussion with Brussels to protect  qualified tourist guides. She was involvedin  the first set of definitions at European Norms, which finalized in the area specificity and qualified profession and in the development of EN15565 Training and Qualifications of Tourist Guides.  She last attended a WFTGA Convention in 2007. A charming hostess and lovely friend, she died of cancer within barely three months and leaves her husband and children disconsolate. We feel with them and will remember Annie as the vital part of our profession.
Marie Pinho (USA), Guild of Washington Tourist Guides Executive Board Member for a long period and the last years WFTGA Area Representative. A lovely colleague with spirit and dedication, she gave many the feeling of professionalism, initiating political contacts for acceptance of the qualification and best performance; she will leave us in grief for the loss of a friendly and lively colleague. We will keep her heritage as a precious gift.  Marie died just after spending time with as at the WFTGA International Convention in Prague.

Posted: 02/12/15

WFTGA celebrates 30th Anniversary in Prague

The World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations was founded in 1985.  Founder members Johann Szegö, Rune Lemon, Bertha Maria Major and Felicitas Wressnig (current President) were joined by Past Presidents Titina Loizides, Deborah Androus, Ruby Roy and Rosalind Newlands at the 16th WFTGA International Convention in Prague, Czech Repbuplic to celebrate 30 years with more than 300 tourist guides from 41 countries. Bertha  Maria made a presentation to Stanislav Voleman and the Convention organising team.  For more information and pictures see

Posted: 02/07/15

WFTGA Sponsor Mrs Edmee Pistis Leventis awarded the OBE

Cypriot national Edmee Pistis Leventis has been awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the New Year Honours list for services to Arts Philanthropy.

Mrs Leventis, born in Paphos in 1945, is a full time voluntary worker, in addition to being the former Chairwoman - and present member - of the Board of governors of Hellenic College.

She is also the former Chairwoman of the executive Board of Hellenic Trust and both Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Cyprus to UNESCO.

Educated at the Pancyprian University in Nicosia and the University of Rome La Sapienza, Leventis, the widow of the late Constantine Leventis, has three children.

Mrs Leventis has been a long term supporter of WFTGA through the A.G. Leventis Foundation and contributed to the re-writing of the WFTGA training materials


Posted: 01/06/15
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