Ethnic, Cultural Diversities Offer Competitive Advantage
Iran's ethnic and cultural diversities stand out in the region, giving the country an advantage over its neighbors in the ever-expanding tourism market.
"Iran's multiculturalism is a great potential that enables it to offer a unique experience to foreign tourists," said Morteza Rahmani Movahed, tourism deputy at Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.
Movahed was speaking during the closing ceremony of the 10th International Festival of Ethnic Cultures in Gorgan, Golestan Province, last week, the Persian travel website Donyaye Safar reported.
The diversity of cultures also helps the country appeal to more varied tastes, as each ethnic group can help forge links with a different nation.
"It is our responsibility to tap into this great opportunity for the benefit of our tourism industry," he said.
The tourism official noted that the development of tourism capacities of each Iranian ethnic group lies in the hands of provincial officials and their policies.
The cultural, lingual and artistic qualities of each tribe are part of the Iranian identity that creates a myriad of attractions for foreigners.
"Although culturally distinct in many ways, Iranian ethnic groups are all defined under a shared nationality," Movahed was quoted as saying by. Iran has always been home to a variety of cultures, which is why it has been referred to as a "mosaic of cultures" by experts.
"Ethnicity is a social and historical reality in Iran, which is free of any prejudice, superiority or self-centeredness," he said.
Movahed commended festivals that uphold ethnic diversity and said they can "help create a mutual understanding among cultures and facilitate peaceful coexistence".
The 10th International Festival of Ethnic Cultures was held in Gorgan from Dec. 28-Jan. 1 with 150 pavilions displaying handicrafts from 27 provinces.