On the occasion of the 8th Conference of IFTGA in Mashhad, it is my immense pleasure to congratulate the Iran Federation of Tour Guides Association (IFTGA) on their successful bid to host the World Federation of Tour Guides Association (WFTGA) convention in Iran in 2017.
It was a great privilege for me to have visited very recently the beautiful city of Mashhad and be enchanted by its immense beauty.
I have noted with great interest the valuable work done by IFTGA since its inception and its first convention in Tehran in 2008 followed by events in most famed cities such as Yazd, Tabriz, Ramsar, Khuzeshtan, Urumieh, Kerman.
Tour guides play a vital role in tourism: they are the first point of contact for visitors and bear the responsibility to share knowledge, but more importantly, to share the values of the host communities. Knowing the traditional hospitality of the Iranian people, I have no doubt that the tour guides accomplish this task with their innate warmth.
I take this opportunity to wish you the very best for the 8th Conference in Mashhad as well as for the hosting the WFTGA convention in 2017.
Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)