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Tourism should become ‘Iran’s important soft power component’ (1394/07/08)

Iran’s Hassan Rouhani has sent a message on the occasion of World Tourism Day (WTD), emphasizing on private and cooperative sectors in developing tourism.
Tourism should become ‘Iran’s important soft power component’

The message was read by Masoud Soltanifar, Vice President and Head of Cultural Heritage Organization in a ceremony to commemorate the day on Sunday, where some of cabinet ministers participated.

“September 27 each year reminds us of the important place of tourism in the world. Its huge share in world financial flow, its participation in intercultural interaction, development of dialogue between cultures and nations, its implications for economic growth and expansion of the culture of peace all have contributed to all countries’ efforts to exploit its capabilities and benefits,” said the message. “Today, the important government documents especially Sixth Development Plan, Leader’s guidelines, and other high-ranking authorities in all branches highlight the necessity of development of tourism and diversification of the economy; cutting dependence on oil income, geographically equal distribution of wealth, and sustainable use of cultural, ecosystem, and other infrastructures all provides conditions for creating jobs, and are factors which make planning on development of tourism crucial,” reads part of the message.

“Among obvious functions of development of tourism are to introduce to the world Iran’s culture, history, and investment opportunities, which consecutively improves Iran’s national security in a framework informed by constructive cooperation with the rest of the world; tourism has the capacities to be an element of the country’s soft power and serve the ‘sustainable development goals’ (SDGs) which will be in countries’ agenda post-2015,” said the message.

“Tourism sustainability’ is a strategic component; to the extent that tourism is an opportunity for development, it would be a threat and burden for culture, economy, and society through mounting pressure on ecological resources, wearing out of cultural heritage, native cultures and traditions, and making other economic sectors dependent on itself,” believed the message. “The damage inflicted on parts of the country – especially in north and Caspian Sea coasts – bears testimony to the hazards of unregulated tourism; thus, the emphasis on development of tourism should be along with even more emphasis on social, economic, and environmental sustainability; any estimation of positive impacts of tourism economy on development indices should be made along with its negative impacts on the environment; development of tourism in a so large a country like Iran with diverse climatic conditions would prove impossible without public and private sectors participation and taking into account particulars of any locality, and cultural, religious, and environmental diversity,” stated the message.

“The government could only function as regulator and supervisor, and facilitator of international and domestic arrangements of tourism in its development; however, government is not a good candidate to act as a major cast in attraction of investments in the sector; rather, private and cooperative sectors should directly contribute to tourism development,” proposed the message. “Internationalization and participation of foreign companies are common feature of today’s business; they are crucial in tourism industry, since fundamentally, development in the sector is only possible through international means of cooperation,” the message read.

“JCPOA, beginning of post-sanctions era, and successful and constructive cooperation with the world provided invaluable opportunities international intercultural communications in tourism; this would complement  government’s foreign policy approaches; it is imperative that, through promoting cooperation with international investors, consulting firms, academic and research institutes on tourism, international media, transportation companies, and promotion of other relevant infrastructures, Iran Outlook Plan for 2025 bring a reliable income through a boom in tourism industry,” the report demanded.


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