TEHRAN, Iran – Iran plans to set up and resume several handicraft markets to welcome a new wave of foreign tourists who plans to visit the country, the deputy director of Handicraft Department of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicraft Organization (CHTHO) Bahman Namvar-Motlaq said in a press conference on Sunday.
Iran is preparing for a tsunami of tourists following the July 14 nuclear agreement with world powers and the lifting of economic sanctions in the coming months.
“Several traditional handicraft markets like Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan were semi-closed over the few past years following the drop in the number of foreign tourists. However they are now ready to welcome visitors again,” he said.
Namvar-Motlaq pointed to the establishment of new markets to offer handicrafts in large cities like Tehran.
“We plan to launch a new handicraft market in Tehran’s historic neighborhood Udlajan in the near future,” he added.
“Handicraft industry in Iran earns the country a huge income through exports rather than sales to the tourists; however we are not passive toward tourism boom in the Islamic Republic,” he stated.
During the conference, the director of CHTHO’s Handicraft Exports Department Puya Mahmudian pointed to some activities of department for handicrafts marketing in different parts of the world.
“Due to the sanctions, Iran could not export handicrafts to the U.S. and the UK but now the countries are among the main targets of Iran for exporting handicrafts,” she said.
She said that Iran also plans to hold expos in China and Russia to enter the five major emerging national economies named Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) markets as well.
“European Union and Persian Gulf countries were traditional markets for Iranian handicrafts and we plan to have more exports to those regions,” she added.
CHTHO plans to provide a handicraft auction hall and some facilities for exportation of handicrafts at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport so entrepreneurs can attend the auctions without obtaining visa, she announced.
Mahmudian also said special handicraft showrooms have been established at CHTHO’s Handicraft Department for receiving orders by foreign trade delegations who visit Iran.
Iran is placed among top three handicrafts producers in the world and is ranked 30th in handicraft exports. Iran’s handicrafts exports rose by 40 percent last year compared to its preceding year.