TEHRAN (Iran News) – The Embassy of Italy on Wednesday hosted a roundtable on cultural heritage promotion and responsible tourism development wherein the participants exchanged views on how Iran and Italy can develop their relations in this sector.
Addressing the roundtable, Italian Ambassador H.E. Giuseppe Perrone said that the project of Italy’s Iran cooperation project for development of cultural heritage, tourism and handicrafts began in December 2019 as a delegation from Italian cooperative operators in the cultural heritage sector toured Iran, adding that unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic the phase 2 of the project did not happen. The ambassador expressed hope by vaccination and opening of the borders for tourists, the project would continue.
Mr. Perrone then pointed to the long cooperation of Italy and Iran in cultural issues as the both countries enjoy having glorious past. He added that in December 2019 and on the 60th anniversary of cooperation between Iran and Italy in archeology, a delegation from Italy toured Khuzestan’s Golden Triangle of Susa, Shushtar and Chaghazanbil. He reiterated that despite the pandemic, the 11th archeological mission of Italians in Iran continues.
The ambassador noted that the embassy is active in cultural activities because there is a strong bond between the nations of the two countries and this project is very dear for Italy. He went on to say that tourism industry is very important for economies of both countries and both countries have suffered financial damages due to the pandemic and closure of their borders to the tourists.
Mr. Perrone added that tourism is the driver of the economic activities and through investment in tourism, the country can help economic and social issues. He then noted that Iran and Italy have most inscribed cultural sites at the UNESCO. He stipulated that promoting cultural tourism would lead to cultural and social awareness and ultimately strengthen the management. The ambassador stated that this project will strengthen the community, reiterating that there is a strong bond between tourism, management and cultural awareness that the responsible and sustainable tourism lead to them.
Then Mr. Davolio, the president of the Italian Association for Responsible Tourism (AITR) for his part and through an online said that he will be happy to return once again to Iran. He then explained responsible and sustainable tourism and said in this type of tourism, visitors get acquainted with culture and lifestyle of the local communities. He note that this type of tourism strengthens culture and economy. He reiterated in Italy everybody likes travelling and Iran can be potentially a good destination for Italian tourists. He noted Italians like to visit Iran very much because of its great history and attractive places.
Davolio said that some problems like transfer of money should be resolved for tourists in order that they can use their credit cards. He also reiterated that in the responsible tourism, the tourist should observe the laws and regulations of the country. He then announced full readiness of AITR for cooperation with Iran.
Ms. Chiara Laghi, the President of Cultura Popolare Cooperative, for her part and through a video call, explained the new forms of cultural heritage valorization, promotion and communications and pointed to the significance of the digital and trade world in the era of the pandemic which can boost the cultural tourism.
Mr. Paolo Buccella, Coopculture Chief Information Officer was the other participant in the roundtable who in an online contact briefed the participants in the roundtable about the digital platforms in Italy which offers many services and information. He said that the Digital Platform guides over 200 museums and historical monuments and it offers information about all cultural and historical sites of Italy in 8 languages.
Ms Giovanna Barni, the co-president of Alleanza Cooperative Italiane Tuismo e Beni Culturali, was the other participant who addressed the roundtable online.
Meanwhile Mr. Mohammad Ghasemi, the director general for domestic tourism of Iran’s tourism ministry, for his part, explained the policies and programs of the ministry to boost tourism especially new tourism products and expansion of tourist destinations from three provinces to all provinces of the country.
Augusto Di Giacinto, director of the Italian Trade Agency, who was the moderator of this roundtable, explained hope that the next phase of the project would start soon and tourism and cultural activities of the two countries resume.
He expressed hope the cultural activities and co-operations of the two states would continue and pointed to the co-operations of Italy with Iran in 11 archeological projects.