Source: Tehran Times
Iran's tourism chief has called for a partnership between domestic travel companies and associated businesses to help organize 'Tabriz 2018', an event which marks the naming of Tabriz as the capital of Islamic tourism. In December 2015, the inter-governmental Organization of Islamic Cooperation selected Tabriz, northwestern East Azarbaijan province, as the capital of Islamic tourism for 2018.
"The private sector should enter the field," Cultural Heritage, Tourism and
Handicrafts Organization Director Ali-Asghar Mounesan said, addressing a
follow-up session on the event, which was held in Tabriz on Thursday.
The official considered global promotion of the event as "very important", saying a world-scale advertising campaign should be going on vigorously though there are lots of missed opportunities in this regard, IRNA reported.
"We have lost plenty of time so far and we have to make up for it by making a
change in attitudes. So we should take advantage of this international potential
to introduce potentials of the province and the country."
Mounesan who doubles as vice president briefed attendees about government-backed programs in support of the cultural event, saying "In line with 'Tabriz 2018', the government is planning to invest 1,600 billion rials (some $40 million) to implement 11 projects."
President Hassan Rouhani will attend the official inauguration ceremony of
'Tabriz 2018', which will be held during the Noruz holidays next [Iranian
calendar] year though programs for the event are scheduled to commence on the
eve of 2018.
In line with the goal of promoting hospitality services across the province,
he suggested that some historical buildings which are currently used as
administrative offices to be transformed into [traditional] guesthouses.
Mounesan proposed throwing handicrafts exhibitions in Tabriz as well.
He went on to say that President Hassan Rouhani will attend the official inauguration ceremony of 'Tabriz 2018', which will be held during the Noruz holidays next [Iranian calendar] year though programs for the event are scheduled to commence on the eve of 2018, CHTN reported.
"Iran attracts some 4.9 million international travelers [per annum] most of whom enter the country for pilgrimage and religious purposes," Mounesan said, adding that the figure is far from the country's vast potentials," he said.
Referring to high importance of the tourism industry, the official reminded that it accounts for one out of every 11 jobs in the world.
Tabriz hosts a number of renowned historical and religious sites, including
Jameh Mosque of Tabriz and Arg of Tabriz, and UNESCO-registered Tabriz Historic
Last year, the city was declared a world craft city of carpet weaving by the World Craft Council.
During the 13th century, Tabriz became the capital of the Safavid Dynasty (1501-1736). It lost its status as capital in the 16th century, but remained important as a commercial hub until the end of the 18th century, with the expansion of Ottoman power.
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