Tehran Tourism Seminar Focuses on Practical Gains

Finance Desk
Tehran Tourism Seminar Focuses on Practical GainsTehran Tourism Seminar Focuses on Practical Gains

A specialized conference was recently held at the headquarters of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization in Tehran with the aim of offering practical insights on how to boost the tourism sector with a bottom-up strategy and strengthening ties within the sector by adopting a proactive approach.

The Seminar on Marketing and Sales for Tourism and Hospitality Services was organized by a group of people affiliated with the University of Tehran and Sharif University of Technology and was attended by managers of tourism organizations, hotels, handicraft producers, tour agencies, NGOs, startups and students, in addition to a few officials from Tehran Municipality, among others.

Jalal Nassirian, chief executive of a tourism services training firm, took to the podium first to provide an overview of the local industry with an eye toward marketing.

Noting that Iran boasts a total of 1.2 million attractions with 32 of them globally inscribed, Nassirian criticized the paltry amount of money spent on tourism advertisement at the national level.

Nasirian then called on promoters to actively engage in searching and grasping the market with the goal of attracting and impressing visitors as anyone unhappy customer could deflect up to a dozen others.

Digital Marketing

Nader Seyyed Amiri, a young professor of tourism marketing at Tehran University, dedicated his time to outlining and conferring on methods of electronic commerce marketing, namely customer to customer (C2C), peer to peer (P2P), one-to-one or personalized marketing and online content analysis.

To better demonstrate the current importance of online marketing, he cited a research conducted by the Tehran University which found that during the past five years, Iranian online consumer trust has been on the rise while online sabotage behavior has decreased.

He also had recommendations for tourism business owners, and directed them to embrace social media more than ever, get their own mobile applications, focus on content marketing, create scenarios based on analyses extracted from social media feedback and seek assistance from industry experts.

"Start small and take it step by step, study all the regulations as thoroughly as you can and do comprehensive pre-tests for every product and service," Seyyed Amiri added.

Next person to address some 200 people attending the eight-hour seminar was Tohid Ali Ashrafi, CMO and board member of the local Alibaba Travel Agency who remarked on marketing and sales strategies of tourism services, ways of increasing sales, employing novel online instruments in tourism marketing and key experiences of successful companies in the sector.

"Know your SWOT, listen to and recognize your consumer, categorize your services through surveys and studies and move to other parts of the market after determining which part you want to target because you cannot be everything to everyone," the marketing chief told the audience.

 He called on the businesses to offer complementary services to boost upsell, regard customers as sole bosses who can choose to fire businesses at any time, embrace end-user comments as opportunities and change thought paradigms.

By investing in digital ads, employing SEO methods and content marketing, businesses can experience a 300% to 500% increase in sales by same time next year, Ali Ashrafi promised them, and then outlined the use of same practices by , a travel fare aggregator website, and itself as international and local success stories.


Practical solutions to make a presence in national and international tourism exhibitions, ways of competing in them and well-known international exhibitions were the subject of the next presentation staged by Mohsen Karabi, CEO of Marcopolo Voyages Company.

He advised businesses to choose lasting corporate colors, slogans, and other distinctive instruments, make their brochures activity-based as opposed to text-based to incentivize people to keep them long after exhibitions have ended and made special offers to attract customers.

"Your exhibition pavilions are your identity," he reminded them, adding that in international expos, they should negotiate with foreign hotels and airlines to be able to provide special seasonal offers to outbound Iranian customers and always remain dedicated to their commitments or never make one in the first place.

Karabi also introduced all relevant international tourism exhibitions whose attendance could entail gains for Iranian businesses, namely Russia's MITT, Turkey's EMITT, China's COTTM, Japan's JATA, Germany's ITB, and the Arabian Travel Market, detailing which expo could prove beneficial in which tourism sections for business owners.

IFTM in France, Fitur in Spain, FERIEN in Austria and BIT in Italy were identified by the chief executive as more specialized, niche expos that could have more limited pros for Iranian businesses. 

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