TEHRAN, Iran – Tourism is the language of peace and friendship, which promotes hospitality, peace-making and love, tourism scholar Jafar Jafari said during the World Tourism Day celebrations in Milad Tower in Tehran on Sunday.
A number of officials and tourism activists attended the celebration.
Officials of Iran’s Cultural Heritage Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) and the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Ali Rabiei were amongst the officials present at the event.
“Tourism means creativity and management of diversity,” Jafari said.
“There is no country in the world, which has nothing to do with tourism industry. All countries either receive tourists or dispatch tourists to other parts of world,” he explained.
The Professor of Hospitality and Tourism at the University of Wisconsin-Stout called each hotel or tourist residence a small United Nations, under roof of which people of different nations gather together.
Terrorism is the enemy of tourism as the most peaceful industry in the world, he added.
He lamented passivity in the realm of tourism and relying on heritage of the past.
“We should learn beneficial ways to offer our cultural heritage to the world,” he said.
He said human resource is an important factor which can improve tourism industry in Iran.
During the celebration, the officials introduced tourist card of Iran’s Bank Sepah.
The ATM card is chargeable up to 5000 dollars and the travel agencies and airlines can request for issuing the card from country of origin.
Tourist SIM card was another facility which was introduced during the event.
Provided by Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran (MCI), the SIM cards are equipped with data service and also operators in English and Arabic.
At the ceremony, CHTHO Director Masud Soltanifar read out the message of President Hassan Rouhani for the audience.
Rouhani called tourism a tool to boost cultural exchange which brings peace among nations.
Tourism is a crucial element in sustainable development, however it may pose threats to Iran if it is not managed well, Rouhani suggested.
At the end of his message, the president expressed hope that tourism industry brings economic security and well-being to all Iranians.
CHTHO Deputy Director for Tourism Morteza Rahmani-Movahed also said the tourism organization has provided a charter on passenger right, which will be put in all travel agencies in near future.
The winners of 2nd Iran Tourism Festival were also honored during the celebration.
September 27 is assigned as World Tourism Day (WTD) by United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and to highlight the contribution the tourism industry can make in reaching these goals.
International tourist arrivals grew by 4.3 % in 2014 to 1.133 billion and generated US$ 1.5 trillion in export earnings.
UNWTO forecasts a growth in international tourist arrivals of between 3% and 4% in 2015.