People, Travel

WFTGA Endorses Iran Venue

WFTGA Endorses Iran Venue
WFTGA Endorses Iran Venue

Inspectors from the World Federation of Tourist Guides Association (WFTGA) accepted and endorsed Iran as a reliable and secure host of the federation’s 17th international convention in January 2017 following a 10-day inspection.

Ruby Roy, vice president of WFTGA, and Ivana Curuvija, head of WFTGA Training Department, commended the Iran Federation of Tourist Guides Associations (IFTGA) for their preparations at a press conference at the Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization in Tehran on Sunday.    

“Credit has to be given to IFTGA and their team spirit that ensured Iran got the necessary number of votes in Prague [in January] to host the event, and received final approval here today,” Roy said.

Iran received 18 votes at this year’s convention in Prague, the Czech capital, staving off competition from Singapore and Denmark to win the right to host the event in 2017.

The country was only the second after Canada to win the needed votes to host the event in the first attempt.

Emphasizing that more work needs to be done, she pointed to the difficulties citizens of a handful of countries face in applying for Iranian visa and the herculean task of transferring money to and from Iran as major obstacles that should be addressed as soon as possible.

Furthermore, Roy highlighted a lack of fire evacuation routes in most hotels and a shortage of fire alarm pull stations, as well as substandard and insufficient sanitation facilities at top attractions as other obstacles in need of immediate solutions.

  An Opportunity

Stressing the importance of WFTGA conventions to host countries, Roy said, “These events provide an opportunity to the countries to promote their attractions to tourist guides from around the world.”

“Tourist guides in fact perform as cultural attachés for their home countries,” she added.    

Having toured Tehran, Shiraz, Kashan, Qom, Yazd and Isfahan, Roy lauded Iranian hospitality and said she had an “unforgettable experience.”

Morteza Rahmani Movahed, deputy for tourism at ICHHTO, said the organization “feels a great obligation” to ensure an efficient and effective convention is held.

“Developing the industry is our priority, and we will cooperate with the IFTGA in whatever ways we can. This is a pledge, “he said.

Arash Nooraghaei, IFTGA president, and Mohsen Hajisaeed, secretary of the convention, briefed the visitors on IFTGA activities to prepare for the 2017 event.