Targeting Int’l Expos

Targeting Int’l ExposTargeting Int’l Expos

Tourism exhibitions provide a platform for industry professionals to showcase their services and meet with prospective travelers, as well as establish connections with tour operators from around the world.

It is, therefore, reasonable that Iran’s tourism officials and professionals want to participate in as many international tourism exhibitions as possible to attract tourists and develop the industry.

Of course, there needs to be a plan; participation in international events is costly, hence it is imperative to carefully choose target markets, which Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization has done.

Last month, the organization’s tourism deputy, Morteza Rahmani Movahed, said a list of 40 countries had been compiled based on indices, such as per capita income and number of outbound travelers. The countries were ranked based on the scores they received.

Compilation of such a list is doubtless an important step, especially given recent problems between the public and private sectors.

For years, tourism officials at ICHHTO have been citing low funding as the main reason behind Iran’s lack of participation in most international exhibitions. On the other hand, the private sector has been vocal about not receiving any support from the organization to participate in such events.

  Burying the Hatchet

In an interview with the Persian travel news website Donyaye Safar, the promotion and marketing deputy at ICHHTO’s Tourism Department, Ali Baqer Nemati Zargaran, said measures have been taken to bring the public and private sectors closer and enhance cooperation.

“We have devised regulations that prioritize international exhibitions,” he said.

According to the regulations, ICHHTO will represent Iran in two leading global exhibitions: FITUR and ITB Berlin that are held annually in January and March respectively.

Exhibitions held in target markets, including Russia, Turkey, Italy, France, India, Malaysia, China, Japan and South Korea, will be attended by the private sector.

Zargaran said the organization will inform the private sector of the details of exhibitions and “support those who participate.”

Participation in events held in countries that are not among the organization’s target markets is encouraged but not supported by ICHHTO.

 Eying Chinese and Russian Markets

Recalling Iran’s participation in Russia’s tourism exhibition last year, the official said Iran will attend this year’s expo as well, adding that Russia is a key market due to having 40 million outbound travelers every year and boasting a large Muslim community.

“Russia’s strained ties with the West and Iran’s climate can help draw more Russians to Iran,” he said.

Zargaran said the Chinese market is also important and pointed to Iran’s participation in China International Travel Mart.

“We’re going to organize familiarization tours for tourism officials and journalists from Russia and China,” he revealed.