People, Travel

ICHHTO Marketing Budget Woefully Low

ICHHTO Marketing Budget Woefully LowICHHTO Marketing Budget Woefully Low

To increase the number of Iran's inbound tourists from five million to 12 million in the next five years, $13 per tourist need to be spent on advertising and marketing, while the current figure is less than $2.

"Marketing is one of the most effective tools for attracting foreign tourists," said Samiollah Makarem Hosseini, a deputy at Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.

Speaking to IRNA, the official said there are three types of countries in terms of tourism.

"First, there are countries where tourism industry is well-established due to a long history of its practice, like France, Italy and Spain," he said.

Due to their stable number of foreign visitors, these states do not need to promote their country and spend only between $1 and $3 per tourist on advertizing.

The second group, according to Hosseini, consists of emerging countries that have lately joined the world's popular destinations and they need to further promote their attractions, such as Portugal, Malaysia, Turkey, Mexico, South Korea and South Africa. These countries spend between $4 and $9 per tourist on marketing campaigns.

Hosseini noted that the third type comprises countries, which have only recently directed attention toward the industry, have so far failed to tap into their vast potentials.

"Although they are among major destinations of the world, these countries have always been lax about making a detailed plan to improve their tourism," he said, adding that Iran, along with Cyprus, Australia, Brazil, Ireland and Norway, belongs to this group.

These nations require more investment, as they desperately need to popularize their country. Australia and Ireland spend $10 and Brazil spends $8 to attract a single tourist while Cyprus spends a significant $46 for the purpose. Iran, however, is lagging behind its rivals with less than $2 spent per tourist.

"Iran's inbound tourism figures have not reached a stable level like the world's top destinations and so we need to put more money into the advertising sector," he said.

Conventionally, official tourism organizations shoulder the costs of advertisement, but due to a shortage of funds, ICHHTO has held talks with the Management and Planning Organization to receive state funds.

Hosseini said the advertising budget will be invested in target countries, including the neighboring states, Central Asian and other Muslim countries.

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