Tourist Guide Day in IRAN, 2013

April 6th, 2013

Tourist Guide, the guardian of natural resources, the supporter of sustainable energy

The 6th world tourist guide day celebration was hosted by Urmia, West Azerbaijan province, from 18th to 20th February by the presence of 600 tourist guides, university students and professors, environment experts and reporters. The ceremony was held under the theme of “tourist guide, the guardian of natural resources, the supporter of sustainable energy” in harmony with the theme of UNWTO for 2012 “tourism and sustainable energy”.

The event was started by the visit of Lake Urmia and the site of Kazem Dashi. On the second day, the guests visited other natural and historic sites including Nazloo River, Sahoolan Cave and Urartian Castle. Also, 11 workshops in different subjects were held for developing knowledge of tourist guides. It is good to be mentioned that one of the workshops was taught in English about tourism and sustainable development by Mr. Marcello Notarianni, Senior Sustainable Tourism Consultant in UNWTO.

Holding news meeting by the presence of reporters, tourism professors and environment experts and presenting a specialized panel about sustainable development in tourism and also the establishment of “Iran Tourist Guides Federation” with membership of 12 associations were other achievements of ceremony on the second day.

The ending like last years was started at 9:57 a.m. to emphasize the punctuality of tourist guides. Dr. Ismael Kahrom, the university professor and ornithologist was the special guest that his lecture about Lake Urmia and environment provoked the audiences’ emotions. This year, two tourist guides drew Lake Urmia on a t-shirt and registered the signature of all participants on it and gave it to Dr. Kahrom as a gift. This symbolic work differentiated this ceremony from others.

It should be mentioned that because of the religious ritual on February 21st in Iran, the world tourist guide day was celebrated on February 20th.

Translated By: Somayeh Mahdavi Nia

About IRAN

January 23rd, 2013

Is written about IRAN on Lonely Planet 2012:

If travel is most rewarding when it surprises, then Iran might just be the most rewarding destination on Earth

2nd National Festival of Nasser Khosrow Travel writing

December 13th, 2012

The National Nasser Khosraw Travel Writing Contest aims to persuade the travelers to log their travels by providing a public forum. Therefore, we, the organizers of contest, including Zoraq Website, (the first comprehensive Iranian tourism portal providing online hotel reservation service all around the world), Tehran Tourist Guides Association, Tehran Tourist House, and Tatilat-e- Now Research Center, invite eagerly all those interested to put their abilities to the test and become familiar to other travel writings.

Permanent Committee

The Permanent Secretariat of Nasser Khosraw contest, including four cultural and tourism organizations, which are Zoraq Website, Tatilat-e-Now Research Center, Tehran Tour Guides Association, and Tehran Tourist House, aims to encourage, support and develop travel writing; the first step of which is arranging a contest on travel writing. It is named after the first Persian travel writer Nasser Khosraw Ghobadiani.
Promoting travelling culture and etiquette,
Laying the groundwork for interaction and sharing  the experiences,
Introducing the destinations to tourists,
Revitalizing the travel itinerary writing genre,
Encouraging people to document events,
Introducing monument, natural environment and diverse beliefs and religions, lifestyles and traditions of Iranian Tribes and clans.
Paying better attention to Persian Literature by suggesting new ways of looking.
Various categories

There are three different categories in the Second Nasser Khosraw Travel Writing contest:
Main Category, Consists of five (5) subcategories:
1- Writing a text
2- Photo
3- Video
4- Audio
5- Blog

Subordinate Category, Consists of four (4) subcategories:
1- Drawing and Painting
2- Persian painting
3- Comic strip
4- Caricature

A part of UNWTO reply to secretariate

June 5th, 2012

Thank you very much for your email and I am very pleased to be informed that the International Conference on Literary Tourism is going to be held in Mashhad City 26-28 September 2012.

The development of tourism is one of the most important worldwide industries that have benefited the welfare and economy for all citizens. Literary Tourism is a new area for world tourism development that will enrich the life of all citizens, and Iran has the far-sighted vision for cultivating this very important field of the world tourism industry. I believe that this conference will have great success and I hope that your efforts in the literary tourism will contribute tremendous benefit to enrich the development of world tourism.

An email from a turkish tourist to me

May 16th, 2012

Dearest Arash,

After 25 days of travel in Iran, I am now home.

After we left Tehran, we went all the way to Shiraz, after Figen left for home, I did Bushehr and Mashhad too.

· It was pity to see Bushehr falling apart. Very poor people. If government does nothing soon, all those houses will soon disappear! It was amazing to see the land change coming from Shiraz, plain valleys and peak mountains, no trees, breathtaking view, long tunnels. Then as we descended the view turned into all palm trees. As far as my eyes can see! It was amazing, really. It was fond to see similarities between the other Gulf countries/cities and Bushehr too. I liked it. Masquitos were very agressive, with unfortunately very little infrastructure it does help them to feed.

· As for Mashhad, Haram is magical! I found security guardians very friendly too. Unlike other shrine staff. I was there for the 2 full days, in the streets, did not come across with even one more tourist! How is this at all possible, it’s beyond my imagination! No English speaking people was difficult for the communication. Thanks again to some lovely Azeri people that I came across, they were more helpful then ever… Overall, Masshad is a difficult environment for a tourist. I believe LP is not covering and giving enough information for Mashhad.

Here are some of my highlights of Iran. Perhaps can give some view :

Best restaurant : Hezardastan Traditional Teahouse, Restaurant and Museum, Mashhad. Very expensive though. But definitely was worth it!

Best cayhane                : Seray-e Mehr Teahouse, Shiraz.

Best qalyan                  : By the Si-o-She bridge, Esfahan. Obviously government removed them all, it’s black market qalyan!…

Best bazaar                  : Tebriz and Esfahan. Amazing. Workshops in Esfahan make bazaar atmosphere magical. Tebriz carpet bazaar is no 1!

Best hotel                     : Silkroad Hotel, Yazd. Peaceful, atmospheric, friendly staff, clean, good food, very good value. Also is a good place to meet new adventurers on a World tour.

Worst hotel                   : Hotel Iran, Quazvin. My nightmare hotel in Iran! Annoying staff too. Towels and bedsheets seemed not to be washed properly. I had some bugs (!) in my bed, which affected me for the next 10 days to itch.

Best city                       : Esfahan. Iran should focus on Esfahan as a marketing to change perceptions! Would appeal to many European travelers. Modern people, great food, good shopping, valuable history, amazing buildings, peaceful and colorful city. I strongly believe Esfahan is no different than any other big touristic cities like Rome, Istanbul, Beirut,.. This is a good strength.

Bad experience             : Taxi drivers in Mashhad was annoying esp for alone women travellers.

As a result;

I am back home with really good memoirs of Iran. I am trying to finalize some of my writings and photos on my blog, so that I can start posting and sharing all this with some curious to-know friends! They can’t wait to hear from me!

I wanted to thank you deeply for all your help, and making Iran so special for us. Surely, and hopefully very soon (perhaps next spring!) I will be definitely back to Iran, continue to enjoy the rural parts and less touristic attractions this time. Go off the road!

My home is your home. Pls whenever you are scheduling to come Istanbul, pls pls pls let me know, too. I will do my utmost best to join you. Also, still we are waiting to hear from Maryam for her soon visit to Istanbul. I hope she will manage to re-schedule it…

Hugs, warm regards, good luck with your new ventures,

Pls give my warm regards, many and special thanks to Shadi and Maryam too.

PS: Unfortunately I do not have their email addresses. If you can share I would be more than greatful!

Hugs, again,

Bike Geckinli

Istanbul, Turkey.

International Tourist Guide Day:2012

April 17th, 2012

2012: Iranian tourist guides celebrated 21st of February in harmony with UNWTO’s theme

Tourist guide; a bridge among cultures

The 5th world tourist guide day celebration was held in Khuzestan province from 19th to 21st of February by the presence of more than 450 tourist guides from all over Iran. They were from West and East Azerbaijan, Ardebil, Kordestan, Kermanshah, Zanjan, Hamedan, Ilam, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Gilan, Mazandaran, Golestan, Semnan, Razavi Khorasan, Sistan and balouchestan, Isfahan, Kerman, Yazd, Alborz, Hormozgan, Tehran and Khuzastan.

The ceremony was held under the theme “tourism-linking cultures” set by UNWTO for 2011. This event was hosted by Khuzestan province, home to the number of tribal groups with ethnic diversity such as Lor, Bakhtiar,Iranian Arab, Shushtar, Dezful, Behbahan and many other ethnic minorities. In other words, Kuzestan was a good showcase for fulfilling the celebration’s theme.

February 19th

The first day, tourist guides had a big chance to visit two important sites in Unesco world heritage list, Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System and Choghazanbil Temple.

The first visit was ancient area of Susa including antiquities of Achaemenid era (500 BC) to after Islam. The restorers are working on this site to be registered as a world heritage.

On the way of Shushtar, the visitors could see the sugarcane fields to know the potential of industrial tourism in Khuzestan. In two separated groups, they visited two sites including “collection of mills” and “Salasel Fort”. These sites are some parts of “Historical Hydraulic System” that have been registered in Unesco world heritage list. After sightseeing, the participants ate lunch in Shushtar near “Mizan Band” and “Kolahfarangi”(other sections of Historical Hydraulic System).

Then the groups set off Ghoghazanbil Temple (1250 BC) to watch the sunset. It’s good to note that Ghoghazanbil Temple,Persepolis and Naqshe Jahan Square are the first sites that were registered simultaneously in Unesco world heritage list. The tourist guides visited Ghoghazanbil Temple while they were listening to local guides’ explanations. Then they gathered to listen to music. At sunset, the guides lit the candles in their hands to make the site more beautiful. The first day program was finished after the guides ate dinner near the site and transferred to their residence.

February 20th

The second day of the ceremony started by a walk tour in Dezful. The tourist guides visited “Water Museum”, passed alleys and archways, watched brick houses (Dezful is famous for brick buildings) and stopped across from “Anthropology Museum” in “Kornasion Bathroom” to end the tour.

Afterward, the participants transferred to one of the residences, Qale Mokhtar, to watch the very special programs symbolized the celebration’s theme. Many ethnic minorities of Khuzestan such as Bakhtiari, Iranian Arab, Lor, QashQaie were wearing their traditional clothes served the participants with local foods and performed local music and dance. The outstanding parts of the day was to drink coffee in “Mozif”(very small room made of bamboo that Iranian Arabs invite their guest for drinking tea and coffee), sward dance of Arabs, dance of Lor minority and storytelling of a Bakhtiari couple. Also some of the guides were wearing local clothes symbolized peace and friendship among different Iranian tribal groups.

February 21st

Early in the morning, the guides set off Ahvaz to hold the celebration. Like last years the ceremony started at 9:57 am. The first part was a commemoration of Parviz Rajabi,expert on Iran and researcher, and also Aziz Asheqi, the guardian of Takhte Soleiman(a historical site in West Azerbaijan that has been registered in Unesco world heritage list) who was the guest in Tabriz celebration two years ago. The other parts of the ceremony as follows:

1.     Showing video clips of last celebrations.

2.     Delivering the statue of ceremony to Khuzestan representative to be kept there until next year.

3.     Unveiling tourist guides’ audio logo.

The special guest of this year, Tooran Mirhadi, the founder of children’s book council and adolescent and children’s encyclopedia, was praised for working more than 40 years on Iranian culture with a respectful group.

In addition to tourist guides, journalists and other guests from different groups who are active in tourism and culture such as Mohammadreza Aslani, director, Soodabeh Fazaeli, writer, Parvin Bahmani, the researcher on QashQaie Tribe, Parvin Fakharinia, writer and the member of executive board of adolescent and children’s encyclopedia, Naser Karami, active in ecotourism, Fereidoon Momeni, professor of geography, attended in the ceremony.

The 5th world tourist guide day celebration was finished by holding an exhibition of cultural products of different provinces to introduce their activities in tourism. All the trade unions and tourist guide associations made big efforts to hold this big ceremony in Khuzestan and finally they could draw the governors’ attention to strengths and weaknesses of this historical province in tourism. Naming one of the squares in Ahvaz with the name of “tourist” represents their attention.

International Conference on Literary Tourism

March 4th, 2012

Tatilat-e-Now Research Center with the cooperation of universities, private, public and non-for-profit organizations is to hold a two-day long conference, regarding tourism and literature, in Tabriz, Iran, on 26-27 September, 2012. All those interested in tourism and literature are invited to submit their abstracts of no more than 3oo words by 21, May, 2012 to: .

Areas of interest include (But are not limited to):

1. Literature and tourism:

· Classical literature and tourism

· Modern literature and tourism

2. Principles of literary tourism

3. Literary tourism supply and demand Aspects

· Nature of tourists’ experiences visiting literary attractions

· Literary tourism typology

· Resources, attractions and activities of literary tourism

· Infrastructures, facilities and services of literary tourism

· Domestic and international markets of literary tourism

4. Planning, managing and marketing literary tourism

· Literary tourism planning process

· Strategic policies for literary tourism development

· Role of literary tourism in children education

· Marketing challenges of literary tourism

· Visitor management in literary tourism attractions

· Effective marketing for literary tourism

5. Impacts of literary tourism

· Economic impacts of literary tourism

· Tourism, literature and peace

· Social and cultural impacts of literary tourism

6. Development and evaluation of literary tourism projects

7. Iran’s potentials in literary tourism

8. Identification and designing literary tourism trail for Iran

9. Media and literary tourism

· Film and literary tourism

Conference scientific convener: Ismaeel Ghaderi ( Phd)

Conference executive: Arash Nooraghayee

Note: Deadline to submit abstracts (Final Call): 21 May 2012 (Decisions are reached in less than 4 weeks after the abstract submission)

Our aims:

The first aim is to provide opportunities for academics from a range of disciplines and countries to share their research both through the conference podium and its publications.

The second aim of the Conference is to provide opportunities for academics to receive informal in-depth feedback through discussions and to enable them to establish contact with professionals in other countries and institutions.

The third aim of the Conference is to introduce participants to potentials of Iran and other countries sharing the same cultural background in developing Literary Tourism.

The first Nasser Khosraw travel itinerary writing contest

January 30th, 2012

Nasser Khosraw travel itinerary writing contest, which was named after Nasser Khosraw Ghobadini, a Persian poet and traveller, whose famous work, Safarnameh, is an acount of his travels, is going to be held this Thursday (Feb/2/2012)

The main objectives of this contest are as follows:

- Promotion of travelling culture and etiquette,

-Introduction of destinations to tourists,

- Revival of travel itinerary writing ,

-Encouraging to writing about events happened, and

- Introduction of historic buildings, natural environments and diverse beliefs and religions, lifestyles, and traditions in Iran.

Travel report-Haiku

October 7th, 2011

I am going to Europe from 18th up to 28th of Oct. And i want to write HAIKU as a travel report.

I will try to write some and this is the first one:


The silence of weekend

Only the sound of leaf journey

A man from BOOKAN

June 6th, 2011

MARYAM JAVAHER NIA: The Kurdish lifestyle has been portrayed through the statues a Kurdish sculptor carves. “Osman Rahmanzadeh”, an illiterate mason and self-taught sculptor, reveals the lifestyle of not only the Kurdish but any other tribes, clans, and so on, who live in Iran.

Before carving his unique and petite living statues, he reviews the scenario, has been written in his mind. By carving them he directs the scene, which is played by the concrete and wooden actors and actresses who discourse in an imaginary conversation in a set decoration, which is decorated by pigments. The applied pigments add to the lifelike quality his statues have since the animated figures are represented by the naturalistic pigmentations.