People, Travel

Branded Handicrafts

Branded HandicraftsBranded Handicrafts

A network of chain stores offering branded handicrafts are to be established across the country, public relations office of Iran’s Cultural Heritage Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) reported.

A meeting was convened by deputy of handicrafts department Bahman Namvar-Motlaq, handicrafts officials, and members of Iranian Tour Operators Association (ITOA) to discuss ways to promote the handicrafts industry and realize its full potential.

Namvar-Motlaq refering to the increasing number of foreign tourists called for more attention to the tourism industry.

The measures taken by the ‘Government of Prudence and Hope’ to attract tourists were successful last year. Now is the time to take advantage of the surge in foreign tourists in the country. To this end, infrastructure must be provided, he said.

Interaction between patrons of tour-operations and handicrafts trade would further help boost the presence of foreign tourists and tourism earnings to a great extent.

The official suggested establishing a work-group with members from both ITOA and handicrafts department to consider and review the grounds for mutual cooperation and resolve related problems.

A network of branded stores will be established to present certified handicrafts, Namvar Motlaq said. The stores will observe standards in pricing, quality, and cataloging.

The approved workshops, producing export handicrafts, will be introduced to ITOA for tourists to visit, he added.

“To ensure long-term profits in tourism sector, we need negotiations and discussions with patrons of tourism industry. It is a great opportunity when foreign tourists visit the historical sites and monuments of the country. This should be taken advantage of promote artisans’ welfare,” Namvar-Motlaq said.

Purchase of an Iranian artifact is only the beginning of a process; within a larger perspective, organizing handicrafts sale will bring considerable profits, he maintained.

  New Goals

Director general for touristic plans Mohammad-Reza Puyandeh referred to the positive and constructive measures taken by the handicrafts department to revitalize traditional crafts. He also appreciated the efforts made for better training, packaging, and marketing in this sector.

“We all believe that the three sections of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism in ICHHTO are interdependent; that is, a quality handicraft can help attract tourists, but there will be no success without coordination … We need figures and statistics on handicrafts to plan more effective programs,” Puyandeh said.

  Over 800 Authentic Stores

Some 817 authentic handicrafts stores have been identified across the country, director general at the commercial office of handicrafts department Puya Mahmudian said. Following negotiations with the Research Institute of Traditional Arts, an opportunity has been presented for tourists to visit the institute.

Promotion of the country’s handicrafts for home and foreign tourists is among the major goals of the department, Mahmudian said and reminded that “within the context of a flourishing tourism sector, Iranian handicrafts have not yet been duly appreciated.

  Not Proportional

Vice president of ITOA Seyed Mohammad-Ali Vaqefi referred to the increasing number of foreign tourists and said, “the growth is due to the positive interaction of the government with other states; also lack of security in nearby countries like Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. According to statistics, there has been a growing trend among Spanish travelers to visit Iran. This should be regarded as a great opportunit, he said.

Opening handicrafts stores at historical sites can increase the demand for the artifacts. Most tourists purchase souvenirs from Isfahan. This is because the handicrafts shops are strategically located, on the way to historical monuments and sites.

Vaqefi asserted that the establishment of local handicrafts markets, certified by ICHHTO will increase sales to a great extent. The organization should also prevent “mafia from taking over the handicrafts sales, he added.