People, Travel

Helpful Hints for WFTGA 2017 Convention

Helpful Hints for WFTGA 2017 ConventionHelpful Hints for WFTGA 2017 Convention

The vice president of World Federation of Tourist Guide Association (WFTGA), Ruby Roy, who was invited to attend the 8th World Tourist Guide Day celebration in Mashhad as a special guest, as well as to evaluate Iran’s readiness to host the federations’ convention in 2017, spoke with the Persian daily Donya-e Eghtesad about the tourism industry infrastructure and facilities in Iran.

She pointed to three main issues facing the industry but stressed they are all solvable.

The first is accommodation which does not match the demand both in terms of quantity and quality. Next is hygiene and sanitation. It is particularly an issue for senior travelers who visit the country.

The third and last, is the traffic issue which is in dire need of addressing.

Asked to advice the Iranian tourism industry to better exploit its potential, she said: “Iranian tourism syndicates and tour guide associations have adopted the right policy in work and advertising.” However, she emphasized this is not a one-man show and calls for close collaboration of a large groups of individuals and organizations in both state and private sectors. The cultural heritage organization, its tourism deputy, hotel management, and transportation sector need to cooperate for the industry to function more effectively.

Roy pointed to training human resources in tourism related areas such as guides, hoteliers, and especially airport staff who leave the first and last impression on travelers. More time and care should be paid when hiring personnel in the hospitality industry.

The WFTGA official who herself is an experienced tour guide commented on Iran’s security for travelers: “The existing image of Iran’s security is completely incorrect. I have felt absolutely safe and secure in all my four trips and this has encouraged me to come back to Iran.”

She further added, changing this wrong perception is not easy.

But Iranian representatives and tour guides participating in the 16th convention of WFTGA in Prague, made a huge effort to alter that image and were really successful.

Asked if she would suggest traveling to Iran, Roy said that Iran is a country with a rich history and cultural heritage and the greatest asset of this country is its hospitable people, adding she will recommend Iran to the tour guides in Canada and other 75 countries with whom she is in close contact.

She concluded with her assessment of Iran’s capability to host the next convention, noting after attending the tourist guide day celebration in Iran and discussing various aspects of the 2017 convention with the stakeholders, “I am certain that Iran will be fully able to host the event; though a more comprehensive upgrade on the required infrastructure is needed.”