Zahra Ahmadipoor as the first speaker stressed the importance of economic aspect of tourism, having 10 percent of global GDP and creating 1 out of 11 jobs in the world. She also highlighted the significance of human resources and dubbed it as the software in tourism compared to the hardware of tourism that is accommodation, transportation and physical infrastructures. She noted the failure of Iran-phobia plan and the arrival of more tourists as the result of Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA).
Then Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary General, gave a speech and criticized U.S. President Trump “No country wants to build a wall and isolate itself. We come together in order to build a bridge and open borders to welcome people from all over the world”. He added “Iran is a rich country. For every traveler is better to become familiar with its culture, people, mosques, handicrafts and delicious foods.”President Rouhani welcomed all participants and stated “People from various religions, ethnicities and cultures are living peacefully together in Iran as evidenced by the proximity of mosques to churches and synagogue as well as the presence of Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian members in the Iranian Parliament.”
The Iranian President emphasized the history of arts in Iran and the fact that Persian poetry has always been praised by others. He said eminent poets like Hafiz, Saadi, Ferdowsi and Rumi took fruitful steps for the whole world.Arash Nooraghayee, the President of Iran Federation of Tourist Guide Associations, gave a short report of the efforts to win the bid for Iran to host the WFTGA Convention 2017 and then to plan and to execute the convention as best as possible. He mentioned the Iranian myth, the legendary Arash the Archer who died setting the borders of Iran with a neighboring country and asked all to think about this idea that to achieve development in tourism we must not be confined within borders and tourism has no borders since its message is peace and friendship. Then, he called tourist guides to recount the story of Iran to all people across the world. The final program was a lecture on tourism by Professor Jafar Jafari, renowned professor of Hospitality and Tourism at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. After his lecture and a short break, the attendants headed to Homa Hotel for the workshops.