The concept of heritage and culture is an important section within the tourism experience, and one which might have more to offer regarding realizing the full economic and investment potential of tourism in Iran.
In planning future growth and development, the Iranian tourism sector must be crystal clear on what it has to offer, what it is particularly good at, and what it is better at than most competing destinations. In responding to this challenge, one can consider at least three strong features that could allow Iran to stand out – its natural heritage, built heritage, and cultural heritage.
In a globalized world, an increasing part of the consumer’s experience has become commoditized, and many international travelers can encounter a dull familiarity as they see the same brands, the same processes, and the same old business model.
Iran’s heritage and culture are by definition unique to this country. It cannot be found elsewhere, and so it can serve a source of true distinctiveness for potential visitors to Iran.
The country’s tourism sector attracted fewer than five million visitors in 2014 bringing in some $7.5bn in revenue. Given Iran’s top 10 ranking in the number of UNESCO world heritage cultural sites in the world, this is poised to change. Iran aims to attract 20 million tourists a year by 2025, generating £30bn a year. [according to Iran’s vice-president in an interview with AP news agency]. A shortage of hotel beds is a problem, but international hotel chains are already looking to invest, with AccorHotels, Melia and Rotana being pioneers.
The exclusive summit sponsored by Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, will discuss the issues related to investing in Iran’s hospitality and tourism industry; as well as presenting the opportunities and the most attractive investment projects in this field.