Iran Eyes Tourism Ties, Finance at Fitur 2018


Iran Eyes Tourism Ties, Finance at Fitur 2018

A n Iranian delegation headed by Ali Asghar Mounesan, the head of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, is attending Fitur 2018, Spain's International Tourism Trade Fair that kicked off on Wednesday.

With the aim of promoting Iran's attractions and seeking global cooperation to boost the industry, 23 tour operators are showcasing their products while a craftsman produces artworks in the exhibition.

Displaying photos and artifacts, and giving out posters, booklets and CDs containing information about Iran's historical and natural attractions are among the programs of the Iranian delegation, IRNA reported.

On the sidelines of the expo, the ICHHTO chief met with the new Secretary-General of UN World Tourism Organization Zurab Pololikashvili on Thursday to seek the organization's support for Iran's tourism development plans.

"ICHHTO is preparing a strategic plan for tourism and aims to attract 20 million foreign tourists annually by 2025," Mounesan said, calling on UNWTO to give a hand in achieving the goal by encouraging affiliated members to invest and have an active presence in the Iranian market.

Pointing to the membership of some 500 hotel and tourism companies in UNWTO, Pololikashvili expressed readiness to offer practical support to Iran, especially with regard to training.

"The General Assembly of the UNWTO, scheduled to be held in Iran [in the city of Hamedan] in 2018, is a great opportunity to introduce tourism projects and support small- and medium-sized companies in Iran," he said.  

Mounesan also met with Spanish Minister for Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda Alvaro Nadal to discuss tourism ties with the world's second most popular destination.

He announced Iran's plans to attract foreign investors by establishing tourism infrastructure.

"These development plans enjoy government incentives and is a golden opportunity for Spanish companies to start a business in Iran," he said.

Nadal pointed to his country's vast experience in hotel and travel industries, and expressed willingness for cooperation.

"If all infrastructural sectors grow together at a similar pace, tourist figures will increase with no difficulty," he said.

Joan Gaspart, the head of the Business Council of Tourism of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations, also visited Iran's pavilion and discussed investment opportunities with Mounesan.

Gaspart showed readiness to travel to Iran to explore prospects for Spanish companies to get involved in tourism projects.

Spain is among the world's top destinations and managed to push the United States into third place and become the world’s second most visited country after France in 2017.  

FITUR is a global meeting point for tourism professionals and the leading trade fair for inbound and outbound Ibero American markets. It celebrates its 38th edition from Jan. 17 to 21 this year with special emphasis on sustainability and new technologies.