Markus Leitner, the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, visited Tehran international Tourism and handicrafts exhibition. “Iranians are so hospitable, this is the very first thing I heard from the Swiss tourists who are impressed by these characteristics.” Said Leitner.
Below is the interview of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism & Handicrafts (CTHN) with Swiss ambassador:
Can the Interaction of Iran with countries like Swiss upgrade Iran’s tourism place in the world?
In general, I think tourism is a perfect way to make connections between countries because these are people who travel and gain experience directly about the destination, by doing that, they can see for themselves what they heard from news and also gain new perspective, so it will be very good to expand relations and cooperation for tourism industry.
Do propagandas affect Iran’s tourism industry?
I don’t like this word too much. Tourism is a good way that people look at themselves. People do not trust media all the time, so tourism is an appropriate way to see for themselves, to check the pictures they’ve seen, the news that they’ve heard. There is a good thing about tourism.
What is the Swiss point of view about Iran?
I think They know Iran quite well, they know the history, they know the importance of the regional power that Iran has. We always have good relations with Iran, so from this point of view, we can celebrate the 100 years of diplomatic presence in Iran.
The Swiss always notice, obviously when they see, they discover more, they are curious and love to travel and Iran offers a lot of different aspects which are interesting for them. They start with the heritage sides and then discover more, so there are more places to be seen and many forms of tourism like nature tourism which are not very well developed and there still are potentials.
Tourists start with the cultural and heritage side which are very well preserved, and more than that is the people that The Swiss are mostly impressed by the contact with the Iranians. They think Iranians are so hospitable, this is the very first thing I heard from The Swiss tourists who are impressed by these characteristics.
how do you see Iran’s tourism industry according to sanctions and political issues?
If you want to travel to Iran, it’s not the question of sanction or not. Honestly, people think about their safety and security, these are the issues to them, not the sanctions.
Do you think exhibitions like this, can be a useful step to expand tourism globally?
Certainly, it’s a proper way to promote your tourism industry to those who want to travel to Iran. It also is useful from two aspects, one is to be seen among the professional who is here to exchange what is the trends and the future of tourism and the second one is for the travelers who are curious to see what is available for them.
I think tourism is such a great industry which involves so many aspects, tourism is much more than selling one product, it’s a whole experience that travelers have from staying in one place, services they received. The impact of tourism on the economy is massive, usually more than what statistics show. I think for the economy of Iran such exhibitions like this are very good.
Have you ever visited any of Iran’s historical places?
we have been traveling a lot and it will be continued, we didn’t see many places but we have seen quite a lot, we started with the places that all international tourists visit, like Shiraz, Esfahan, Persepolis. We love to visit different places.
What is your point of view about Iran’s handicrafts?
They are beautiful, when we go back we always take home handicrafts as souvenirs or gifts.
My family live here or come to visit us and we think it’s a great experience to live in Iran.