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.