JICA Studies to Help Prepare Comprehensive Plan for Tabriz Tourism

JICA Studies to Help Prepare Comprehensive Plan for Tabriz Tourism JICA Studies to Help Prepare Comprehensive Plan for Tabriz Tourism

Representatives of Japan International Cooperation Agency met with tourism authorities of East Azarbaijan Province on Monday to discuss collaboration on preparing a comprehensive plan to develop the industry in Tabriz, the provincial capital.

The meeting was attended by Morteza Abdar, the head of the provincial office of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, as well as officials from Tabriz Municipality and private sector representatives.

According to Yukiharu Kobayashi, chief representative of JICA in Iran, the project on development of tourism in Iran with a special focus on the ancient Silk Road was launched by JICA last year and is now implementing the third phase of studies, Mehr News Agency reported.

"JICA intends to offer assistance to Iran to develop tourism, generate jobs and boost the region's economy," he said.

Speaking at the event, Kobayashi stressed the importance of Tabriz as a key location on the Silk Road and a gateway to Europe, which should be promoted.

Pointing to education and training as essential features for infrastructural development, Kobayashi expressed readiness to cooperate with the ICHHTO office in Tabriz in organizing courses for tourism companies.

Noriaki Nishiyama, director of Hokkaido University's Center for Advanced Tourism Studies, said that in the past two phases of studies conducted by JICA's experts in Iran, Tabriz was selected as the center for Silk Road tourism and cultural heritage studies.

According to Nishiyama, the team has developed several strategies based on the results of the studies.

"One of the most important measures is to devise a comprehensive plan for the development of a tourism brand, as Tabriz has not been introduced to the world the way it deserves despite its huge potential," he said.

Establishing an organization for the management of destinations, devising strategies for international tourism marketing and enhancing the tourism and cultural prospects of the destination were among other solutions offered by the JICA team.

Morteza Abdar, the provincial ICHHTO head, expressed readiness to start joint projects with JICA in the sector, especially to achieve the goals set for 2018, for which Tabriz has been selected as the capital of Islamic tourism by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

"JICA's experiences, especially in fostering public participation, can help us successfully implement our plans for 2018 and achieve other goals to make Tabriz an all-time tourist destination," he said.

Mohammad Shahdad, a member of the board of directors of East Azarbaijan's Association of Tour Guides, also highlighted the capacities of tour leaders as key to every country's tourism development.

"With our well-educated and specialized leaders, our association is willing to play a role in JICA's project," he said.

Shahdad noted that the guides have complete knowledge of the region, can help determine popular travel routes and connect East Azarbaijan Province, particularly Tabriz, with other Iranian destinations.


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