On September 27, 2020, the Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization, H.E. Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour headed an ECO delegation to participate in a ceremony organized by Iranian Cultural heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) at Eram Grand Hotel International Conference Center to mark the World Tourism Day-2020 under the theme of ,کTourism and Rural Development’.
Referring the ECO Vision-2025 on the occasion, the ECO Secretary General Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour underlined that the tourism industry had gained a very positive attention from the Member States, adding that the sector was placed among one of the ECO’s important areas of interest, prioritized for development under the Vision-2025. The strategic objective of the Vision is to establish a peaceful and green tourism destination with diverse products and high quality services in the region, he explained. The ECO Secretary General further explicated that the growing tourism would bear positive impact for the economy, natural and created environment, local population in the visited places and the tourists themselves.
H.E. Mr. Ali Asghar Mounesan, the honourable Minister of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran noted that the tourism industry of Iran was growing before the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that the sector’s revenues reached $11.7 billion in 2019 which accounted for 2.8% of GDP, near the average share of tourism in the world’s GDP. While a number of countries around the world have been affected due to the ongoing pandemic, Iran’s travel sector has had a loss of 12 trillion Rials ($2.85 billion).
A message from Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) was also transmitted in the beginning of the ceremony. In his message, the UNWTO’s Secretary General emphasized on the role of tourism all around the world that, inter alia, empowers rural communities generating jobs and other opportunities most particularly for women and youth. The Sector not only enables the rural communities to hold on to their unique cultural heritage and traditions but also safeguards the habitats and endangered species, he conveyed in the message.
In the conclusive moments of the ceremony, “Turquoise Simorgh” and “Majestic Iran, a Different Experience” were respectively selected as the logo and the motto of Iran’s tourism industry. Simorgh is the most comprehensive logo for Iran’s tourism as it depicts the religious and national identity of the people and conveys all the positive characteristics of Iranians.