Iran Among 4 Nominees for WFTGA Convention

Iran Among 4 Nominees for WFTGA ConventionIran Among 4 Nominees for WFTGA Convention

Iran is among the four finalists to host the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) Convention in January 2017.

Iran Federation of Tourist Guide Association (IFTGA) had bid to host the convention in July 2014, following support from Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), Iran Tourist Guide Association (ITGA) and Iranian Tour Operators Association (ITOA).

The representatives of IFTGA will be present in the 2015 convention to defend the country’s bid, reported CHN.

Out of 8 countries that applied, Denmark, Singapore, and Malaysia are the other three candidates competing alongside Iran.

The 16th WFTGA 2015 Convention will be held on January 26 to 30, 2015 in Prague, Czech Republic with the slogan, “Central Europe - The Historical Crossroads of Cultures” New Approaches to Interpreting Cultural and Natural Heritage.

The international relations committee of the association has spent four months preparing the proposal including the design of a roadmap, calculation of the costs, providing content for the English website, and consulting other member countries and previous hosts, said chairman of the board at IFTGA, Arash Nour-Aghaee.

A promotional video is being produced to introduce Iran, in which the programs of the 5-day convention are shown along with IFTGA tourist routes and facilities.

Although, selecting Iran as the host is yet to be finalized and may be subject to certain issues such as the region’s strategic position, sanctions, as well as lack of required infrastructure.

Nour-Aghaee believes, that the high potential of Iran as an ancient country with a rich history, heritage of its great civilization along with experience of holding several national conventions such as events to celebrate international tourist guides day (February 21) for seven consecutive years, can all be factors to bolster Iran’s position to win the bid.

The international tourist guides day has been celebrated in Iran for 7 years in Tehran, Yazd, Tabriz, Ramsar, Andimeshk and Dezful (together), Urumia, and Kerman. Over 700 participants and special guests attended the 7th gathering in Kerman.

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Among the notable guests was Felicitas Wressnig, president of World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations who late, thanked Iranian administrators of the event in an email, calling the gathering and celebration her most impressive to date.

“Iran is a country to be seen” said Mohsen Haji Saeed, head of the international relations department at IFTGA, CHN reported, adding world view towards Iran as an unsafe country in which to travel needs to change.

This presents the opportunity to introduce Iran, its tourism, natural and historical attractions, hospitality, biodiversity, variety of ethnic cultures and customs. It also provides the possibility for exchange of information and experience between the tour guides from all around the world and a platform for them to develop their professional skills participating in workshops and lectures, Haji Saeed emphasized.

The World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) Convention is the most important and largest gathering of tour guides which is held every two years.

The convention involves 21 programs and ceremonies. The reception followed by a 3-day tour prior to the main event, election of WFTGA’s new board of directors, an introductory session along with a press conference for applicant countries to host next convention, inauguration of the convention, opening speech by the convention president, training workshops for guides and many more are among the programs of the convention.

Special programs have also been designed to entertain the participants, their families and exhibitors, including like live music, traditional dance, and the host country’s handicrafts exhibition.

The event is concluded with a special ceremony and selecting the next host by direct vote of the members. Another 6-day tour will see the guests off.