People, Travel

UNWTO’s Rifai Tours Mashhad, Pledges Support

UNWTO’s Rifai Tours Mashhad, Pledges SupportUNWTO’s Rifai Tours Mashhad, Pledges Support

In a press conference following the opening ceremony of the 8th Conference of IFTGA in Mashhad, Taleb D. Rifai secretary-general of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) congratulated the Iran Federation of Tour Guides (IFTGA) on their successful bid to host the World Federation of Tour Guides Association (WFTGA) convention in Iran in 2017, CHTN reported.

He referred to Mashhad as the “beating heart of Iran”, when he was at the mausoleum of world renowned Iranian Poet, Ferdowsi.  His tour took him to the shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.) and met with the province’s governor general, Alireza Rashidian.    He said: “It was a great privilege for me to have visited, very recently, the beautiful city of Mashhad and be enchanted by its immense beauty.”  Rifai said he “wished representatives from all nations were accompanying [him] in this visit to enjoy the historical attractions of Iran, and particularly the tourism attractions of Mashhad.”

On the conference he said he “noted with great interest the valuable work done by IFTGA since its inception and its first convention in Tehran in 2008 followed by events in most cities such as Yazd, Tabriz, Ramsar, Khuzestan, Urmia and Kerman.”

Rifai noted the role of tour guides, saying “they are the first point of contact for visitors and bear the responsibility to share knowledge, but more importantly, to share the values of the host communities.”  

He was confident that the tour guides “accomplish this task with innate warmth”, which he attributed to the Iranian tradition of hospitality.

He wished Iran the best for both the IFTGA Conference in Mashhad as well as the WFTGA convention to be held in 2017.

During his visit the secretary-general said the UNWTO is ready to use all its capacities to help introduce Iran to the world.

In addition to using the electronic methods, such as the UNWTO website, for boosting the Iranian tourism attractions there are live addresses and international conferences that can be employed for the purpose. “Unfortunately the world nations are not properly informed about the tourism attractions of Iran and we must use various means to make up for that deficiency,” he said.