People, Travel

Isfahan Tour Guides, Retailers End Feud

Isfahan Tour Guides, Retailers End FeudIsfahan Tour Guides, Retailers End Feud

To reconcile the perennial conflict between tour guides and vendors of Isfahan, the heads of Iran Federation of Tour Guide Associations and Isfahan Guilds signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday.

Focusing on customer satisfaction, the MoU emphasizes that handicrafts must have ID tags to indicate their authenticity, travel news website Donyaye Safar reported.

In recent years, traders and shop owners of Isfahan expressed discontent with tour guides’ manner of organizing tours, particularly tours aimed at helping tourists purchase handicrafts. They have been unhappy about tourists not going to their shops in groups.

In letters written to authorities, Isfahan’s merchants accused some tour guides and travel agencies of having agreements with certain vendors and coaxing tourists into buying low quality or fake products at exorbitant prices.

They blamed Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization for allowing such a thing to happen.

Arash Nour-aqaei, the head of IFTGA, says, “Merchants have wrongly been led to believe that because more international tourists are making their way to Iran, [the merchants] have to sell tens of millions of rials worth of products every day. Since that doesn’t happen, they jump to conclusions.”

A joint committee will be formed in the near future to coordinate details of the agreement, resolve related issues and ensure the pact is respected by both sides.