Some 800 Iranian and foreign tourist guides are expected to attend the 17th World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations’ convention in Tehran, the head of Iran’s Federation of Tourist Guide Associations, Arash Nour-Aqaei, said.
Iran was granted the right to host the event by securing enough votes last year. The event is scheduled for January 28-February 1, 2017, Mehr News Agency reported.
“Preparations for the event began 40 days ago,” Nour-Aqaei said, adding that 300 foreign and 500 Iranian tourist guides will be invited to the event.
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 a number of countries were completely against Iran hosting the event.
“We have started a campaign to promote Iran and the meeting to encourage more members to attend the convention,” he said.
The official 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.