People, Travel

Austria to Help in Tourism Education

Austria to Help in Tourism EducationAustria to Help in Tourism Education

Iran and Austria are to pool their experience in tourism making use of their educational capacities and setting up joint projects, said the tourism deputy at Iran’s Cultural Heritage Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.

Morteza Rahmani Movahed made the statement in a meeting in Tehran with Wilfried Haslauer, governor of Salzburg, and Austria’s tourism delegation, travel news website Donyaye Safar reported.  

“Iran and Austria have unique capacities for tourism and they can pool their experience via collaborative educational projects as well as familiarization tours,” he said.

The official pointed to Iran’s political stability and said it can help the two states collaborate in tourism education and development of infrastructure.

Movahed said tourists tend to visit countries that give them experience they do not receive in their own country.

“Therefore, Iran’s deserts, which cover 25% of the country, as well as historical, artistic and agricultural attractions, are appealing to Austrian tourists,” he said.

Pointing to Austria’s cold climate, Movahed said the fact that Iran experiences all four seasons at the same time may be of interest to Austrian travelers.

Referring the 9th Tourism Exhibition in Tehran (Feb. 16-19, 2016), the official said such events are “opportunities that must be seized” and called for the private sectors in both countries to expand ties.

“It is essential for the two countries’ private sectors to share and gain knowledge about the industry, especially about infrastructure. Hence, conducting familiarization tours during the expo can help Austrian investors gain a more in-depth knowledge of Iran tourism sector.”

He said a conference on investment opportunities will also be held on the sidelines of the exhibition.

Haslauer referred to education, standardization, technology, services, marketing and advertising as possible fields of cooperation and expressed his country’s willingness to cooperate with Iran in tourism sectors.

He said that the purpose of the visit was to discover Iran’s tourism potential and voiced content with what he saw.

From hotels to ecolodges, Austria boasts 10,000 lodging facilities.

“Our success in expanding our hospitality industry, especially tourist resorts in the mountains, can be of use to Iran,” he said.

Despite being 20 times bigger than Austria, Iran has only 1,100 hotels, of which only 130 boast a four or five star rating.

Officials have been quoted as saying that the country needs at least 400 new hotels to be able to accommodate 20 million tourists a year by 2025, which is Iran’s declared tourism goal.

Iran hosted 5 million tourists last year and generated $7.5 billion.