Iran has selected to host the International Tourist Guides Convention in 2017, Iranian media reported.
The convention is the most important gathering of tour guides worldwide, which is run by the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA).
According to Iran’s Mehr News Agency, Some 800 Iranian and foreign tourist guides are expected to attend the event scheduled for January 28-February 1, 2017 in Tehran
At first, eight nations applied to host the event, from which WFTGA approved Iran, Singapore, Indonesia and Denmark as the four final candidates.
“Preparations for the event began 40 days ago. Some 300 foreign and 500 Iranian tourist guides will be invited to the event”, The head of Iran’s Federation of Tourist Guide Associations, Arash Nour-Aqaei told Mehr News.
The second 2017 WFTGA convention preparation meeting was held in Tehran on June 29. The meeting, which focused on the functions of member-volunteers, was attended by over 60 Iranian Tourist Guides. Four committees were formed to deal with design, marketing, translation and social media.
About 250 people from various tourism groups and institutions are collaborating to organize the event.
Nour-Aqaei said many WFTGA members have never been to Iran and noted that the event presents a great opportunity for Iranians to showcase the country’s tourism potential to tour guides from across the world.
A statement on the convention’s website reads: “This will be the first time in Iran for many, to finally see well-known treasures in reality, to learn about one of the oldest cultures too secluded these last decades! It will mean to all of us astonishment, breaking down walls and prejudices; it will hopefully bring peace to a territory as tourism should, a country so important for all our early cultural development. It will truly mean: experience another culture with all five senses.”
As the coordinator of the event, Nour-Aqaei explained that the slogan for the convention was selected after hundreds of IFTGA members brainstormed ideas and about 200 people were actively working on it: “Iran: Open Arms, Ancient Allure”.
The 2017 WFTGA convention coincides with the 10th festival and conference of Iran’s Federation of Tourist Guide Associations to be held on the sidelines of the convention.
“The event provides a perfect opportunity for domestic and international tour guides to meet and greet,” said Nour-Aqaei.
Prior to the convention, attendees travel to the provinces of Alborz, Qazvin and Hamedan. The pre-tour involves visits to the largest brick dome in the world and the tomb of legendary Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai.
After the event, those in attendance will visit Isfahan, Shiraz, Yazd and Kashan .
During the event, WFTGA members will elect the new board of directors and the host of the 18th convention.
Finantial Tribune daily contributed to this report
(Above pic originally released at HKFP website)