People, Travel

Handicrafts Expo Sales Mark Tenfold Increase

Production of handicrafts is in a favorable state but more needs to be done on marketing. Production of handicrafts is in a favorable state but more needs to be done on marketing.

About 80 billion rials ($2.1 million) worth of handicrafts were sold and ordered at the 28th national exhibition that was held on 23-29 August in Tehran, showing a tenfold increase from 8 billion rials ($210,000) four years ago.  

According to Pouya Mahmoudian, the head of Handicraft Exports Office at Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, the sale of handicrafts reached 51 billion rials ($1.3 million) that marks a 29% increase compared with the previous expo.

"Requests have been registered for products worth 32 billion rials ($8,400), which is 48% more than in last year's event," she was quoted as saying by the Persian daily Donya-e-Eqtesad.

Isfahan, Khorasan Razavi and Golestan had the largest amount of sales and kilim (flat tapestry-woven carpets or rugs), precious stones, earthenware and ceramics were in high demand.

Speaking during a ceremony to honor selected producers, Bahman Namvar Motlaq, the deputy for handicrafts at ICHHTO, said handicraft events are getting closer to the global exhibition standards, IRNA reported.

"The involvement of younger generation in crafts production, participation of software companies, accurate pricing system, children familiarization programs, appropriate packaging and introduction of the traditional use of handicrafts in Iranian homes were among the special features of this year's event," he said.

Motlaq hoped that the government would help the sector by allocating funds, offering sales opportunities in both domestic and foreign markets and providing insurance for craftspeople.

Ali Asghar Mounesan, the head of ICHHTO, said his organization will cooperate with the Cooperatives Ministry to extend support to small businesses.

"Our production is in a favorable state but we need to work more on marketing," he said, adding that attractive packaging is essential to increasing handicraft exports.

Mohammad Beheshti, the head of ICHHTO's research center, also stressed that to boost the sector, handicrafts must find their ways into people's everyday life.

"By using past styles to meet the needs of the day, we will be able make handicrafts a major industry in the country," he said.

Selected craftspeople in the expo will be offered free stalls in the upcoming international exhibitions.


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