People, Travel

Souvenir Shops for All Cities

Souvenir Shops for All CitiesSouvenir Shops for All Cities

Local handicraft and artwork shops will soon open in all major Iranian cities, the the director general of Handicrafts' Export Office at Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization said.

The plan is aimed at providing domestic and foreign tourists with easy access to souvenirs and gifts, IRNA also quoted Pouya Mahmoudian as saying.  "The plan's first phase will cover the most renowned tourist attractions throughout the country. Later, the less popular cultural heritages and historical sites will be equipped with souvenir shops."

Mahmoudian said noted that early May, 16 handicraft shops opened in Zanjan Province and three more shops are awaiting inauguration in Kermanshah Province.

According to the official, to develop the handicraft market, ICHHTO has focused on strengthening infrastructures and providing equipment for the supply and sale of artworks.

From the aesthetic point of view, the host city's ambience and cultural features will be incorporated in the design and construction of these shops.

"The legality of the souvenir shop could be confirmed from the logo of ICHHTO on the storefront," Mahmoudian said.

Handicraft shops opened so far have been financially supported by ICHHTO and municipality.  Officials plan to involve the private sector in the project, while monitoring the quality of artworks and prices.

Mahmoudian also said that such souvenir shops are common in many countries, but emphasized that the plan on such a large scale is the first of its kind in Iran.

Iran’s handicraft exports in the last fiscal year (March 2015-16) amounted to $174 million, registering a 13% increase compared with the previous year.

There are over 295 types of handicrafts in Iran, each having their own usage. The most well known among these are felts, tribal rugs, glasswork, pottery, ceramics and tiles, traditional furniture, copper and brass ornaments, woodwork (including mosaic, wood carving and inlaid), enamel work and engravings. Small, medium-sized and large production units are active in the country's handicrafts sector.


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