The 40th Plenary Session of the Affiliate Members of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will be held in the Iranian city of Hamadan next week despite efforts by the US to tarnish Iran’s image in the world.
The session is expected to be attended by delegates from the 26 members of the organization including the US and Britain.
Alisadr Tourist Complex in Hamadan as one of the associate members of the UNWTO is set to host the session from November 12 to 16.
In addition to the UNWTO secretary general and members of the executive board, other delegates from Spain, Germany, South Africa, Turkey, Nigeria, Argentina, Italy, Finland, Malaysia, Portugal, Indonesia, India, Peru, Greece, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Colombia, Pakistan, Croatia, Uzbekistan, the UAE, Azerbaijan, Jordan and Bulgaria will take part in the session.
Why Does Visit of UNWTO Chief to Iran Matter?
In a press conference, Vali Teymouri, deputy head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), said foreign delegates are going to attend the international event in defiance of the US pressures on Iran.
“The session is to be attended by 60 delegates from 26 countries. Amid the current situation, tourism can both thwart enemies’ plots and be used as a diplomatic leverage. That’s why it should be highlighted in all international documents as the main priority for all states,” he said.
According to Teymouri, the event is sponsored by the private sector. “The government only has a supportive role in the event and there has been no financial burden on the shoulder of the government amid the current economic pressure.”
Elaborating on the importance of the presence of the UNWTO secretary general in Iran, he said this is his first visit to Iran and his presence could promote Iran’s image in the world paving the way for further cooperation between the Islamic Republic and other members of the UNWTO.
He then referred to the international event’s capacities and said during the session, the participants will exchange knowledge on the latest developments in tourism industry.
Iran was elected as the host of the UNWTO meeting during the 22nd session of the UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu, China, in September 2017. The event could be the beginning of a fruitful and important route for tourism in Iran and the province of Hamadan.
Hamadan has been chosen as Asia’s hub of tourism in 2018 by the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), the continent’s largest tourism institution comprising 34 members.
Hamadan’s tourism potential includes its Imam Square, the Hegmataneh (Ecbatana) historical site, the Pisa Hill, the Hajiabad Hill, the Baba Tahir Tomb, Avicenna’s Tomb, among others. Some archaeologists believe the city dates back to the Median era.