Tourism Key to Sustainable Employment

Tourism is a key sector to help tackle the issue of unemployment that is a government priority
Tourism creates secondary jobs by boosting local businesses.  Tourism creates secondary jobs by boosting local businesses.

Ali Asghar Mounesan, the head of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, has once again highlighted the role of tourism in job creation in a commentary published in the Persian media.

Pointing to President Hassan Rouhani's emphasis on tackling the issue of unemployment, the official said tourism industry has great capacities and advantages in this regard, IRNA reported.

"A major advantage of tourism compared with other industries is that it can generate both direct and indirect jobs, meaning that for each direct job in the sector, several other related secondary jobs are created," he said.

For instance, the development of tourism infrastructure in a target city will not only provide direct jobs in tourist services such as lodging and hospitality, but will also lead to a boom in businesses like handicrafts, food, clothes, transport and many other sectors.

Another important benefit of tourism is the small investment required for entrepreneurship.

"In petrochemical industries, for example, thousands of dollars have to be spent to generate a single job while in tourism, jobs can be created with less than half this amount," he said.

In ecotourism, enormous profit can be made with minimum investment since the primary requirements, including an attraction and lodging, are already available.

Mounesan noted that by investing in restoration and refurbishment alone, direct and indirect jobs can be created for tens of local people.

Because of growing interest in spending time in pristine and unspoiled areas, especially among western travelers, eco-lodges have become all the more popular.  

"Ecotourists do not expect luxury facilities of a five-star hotel," he said.

More importantly, employment in tourism is among the most sustainable since there are always potential consumers for goods and services in the tourism sector.

"Natural resources either run out or get destroyed as a result of overconsumption, but tourism is a green industry that brings about development without damage," he said.

Mounesan said identifying the industry's capacities is on ICHHTO's agenda and hoped that with the cooperation of the private sector and investors, especially banks, the required funds will be allocated.

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