Tourist guides from World Heritage Sites in Iran participated in the “Online Training of Trainers for World Heritage Specialist Guides” from 12 to 17 December 2020 to upgrade their knowledge of World Heritage Sites and become certified trainer of World Heritage Specialist Guides. The participants composed a mixed group coming from Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (MCHTH) and the Iranian Federation of Tourist Guides Association (IFTGA), thus bringing together the private and government sectors to exchange on best tourism practices and issues affecting the cultural tourism industry.
“The outbreak of Coronavirus COVID-19 represents an important and evolving challenge to the tourism sector. Containment of the pandemic is the top priority and the tourism sector is committed to supporting all measures taken to contain the epidemic. Furthermore, cultural sites can be peace hubs that help maintain reconciliation processes, UNESCO believes that World Heritage and tourism stakeholders share a joint responsibility for the conservation of our common cultural and natural heritage through appropriate tourism management,” stated Mr. Cvetan Cvetkovski, Officer-in-charge of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, in his opening speech. Along the same lines, Dr. Talebian, Deputy for Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (MCHTH) emphasized, “Giving the importance of Cultural Heritage in the tourism industry, education related to this field and updating guides as the most important meditator between tourists by applying the most updated knowledge in the world is an important principle that Cultural Heritage deputy office with coordination of UNESCO Tehran Cluster office are following up as a part of capacity building programe in the last two years”. Mr. Farhad Azizi, Director General of the Iranian Heritage Bases Administration in Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (MCHTH) stated that: “World Heritage Sites in Iran are eminent work among the cultural heritage of Iran which has been selected and inscribed intelligently, these sites are demonstrating the comprehensive views of what worlds could see from Iran” .
The course was linked to UNESCO’s regional knowledge and skills standards, which are sets of 5 performance knowledge and standards for Cultural Heritage specialist guides. The training course was 6 days training and assessment, including one day for self-reviewing and assessment preparing for the learners. The training addressed a number of topics including introduction to the Training development Course, Introduction of the training concept, the learning process, performance talk and using visual concept, performance demonstration , using questions and applying the course at work.
This training has been organized following the successful implementation of the first course of World Heritage Specialist Guides Training, which was conducted on 2019. These series of actives which have been organized jointly by UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office and Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (MCHTH) are part of many initiatives that will be organized under the EU-funded project “Silk Roads Heritage Corridors in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Iran- the International Dimension of the European Year of Cultural Heritage” implemented by UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office in close collaboration with the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.