Int’l Publicity Crucial for Tourism Development

Int’l Publicity Crucial for Tourism DevelopmentInt’l Publicity Crucial for Tourism Development

Promoting Iranian tourism abroad is an integral component for developing the industry, but lack of funds makes it difficult to conduct large-scale marketing campaigns.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday to mark Government Week (Aug. 24-30), Saeed Shirkavand, deputy for planning and investment at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said it is impossible to meet tourism goals without advertising Iran’s attractions oversees, IRNA reported.

“We have no problems with advertising on internationally-popular satellite channels such as the CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera,” he said, adding that the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has emphasized that the number of incoming tourists must increase fivefold in a year.

“The only way to do that is by advertising on international networks.”

Nevertheless, due to financial difficulties, the organization cannot engage in foreign promotional campaigns.

“If the private sector would like to start such a campaign, [the organization] welcomes and supports it,” he said.

  Ashouradeh Claims “Fallacious”

Shirkavand censured critics who oppose turning Ashouradeh Island in Caspian Sea into a tourist resort.

“I wholeheartedly disagree with them and I’m willing to hold a debate with them on the matter in a university setting.”

He said as the country’s tourism authority, ICHHTO believes every region with tourism potential must be used to good advantage, “even if they are protected by the Department of Environment”.

 Shirkavand said an independent consultancy firm is tasked with the island’s development as an ecotourist resort and added that a joint working group comprising experts from ICHHTO and DOE will have to approve the project.

“The firm has to comply with environmental regulations,” he said.

Earlier this month, DOE chief, Massoumeh Ebtekar, said development of the island will not happen in the near future.

“Ecotourism projects will only be approved, if they are within environmental frameworks,” she said.

Located at the easternmost end of Miyankaleh Peninsula to the northeast of Gorgan Bay, the ecologically-rich island of Ashouradeh is the only Iranian island in the Caspian Sea.

The peninsula and bay were registered in 1969 as wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. In 1979, the peninsula, including Ashouradeh, was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.