Official Launch of Tabriz 2018 in Norouz

Official Launch of Tabriz 2018 in Norouz Official Launch of Tabriz 2018 in Norouz
The official inauguration of Tabriz will be in Norouz while programs for the event are scheduled to begin in January 2018

Although events related to Tabriz 2018 are to begin in less than two months, Iran will officially launch them in Norouz, the Iranian New Year that starts on March 21, 2018, during a ceremony attended by President Hassan Rouhani.

Ali Asghar Mounesan, the head of Iran’s Cultural Heritance, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, noted that programs to mark the occasion will start on January 1, 2018, ISNA reported.

Speaking in a meeting in Tabriz, the official said the selection of Tabriz as the tourism capital of Islamic countries for a year "provides the country's tourism industry with a unique opportunity to gain the recognition it deserves globally".

However, the ICHHTO chief regretted that the work done so far leaves much to be desired.

“We have lost plenty of time so far and we ought to compensate for it since this is a national event,” he said.  

Priorities, according to the official, are to improve urban spaces and offer facilities to both tourists and residents alike.

Experts have highlighted that besides infrastructural development, public events need to be organized throughout the year to help attract more visitors to the city and East Azarbaijan Province in general.

Mounesan suggested holding handicrafts exhibitions in Tabriz and printing the Tabriz 2018 logo on all products made in the province.

He also recommended that old buildings in the province currently used as administrative buildings should be turned into guesthouses and lodging centers to increase accommodation capacity.

"International tours to Tabriz have been planned and multi-destination tours are on the agenda," he said, adding that 11 provincial tourism projects have been defined for which 1.6 trillion rials ($40 million) of low-interest loans have been allocated from the National Development Fund. The official called on tour operators and travel agencies to cooperate, stressing that there will be no problem in increasing flights to Tabriz.

"Iran receives some 4.9 million tourists who mainly enter Iran for religious purposes and pilgrimage, but the figure is far from the country's potentials," he said.

Mounesan noted that tourism is considered “the best road to economic development”, as it is capable of generating employment in a short period with a limited budget.

"Out of every 11 jobs, one is directly or indirectly related to tourism industry," he said.

According to World Tourism Organization, tourism industry is ranked third in boosting economy.

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