In September 2019, the Cultural forum of Austria in Iran and Science and Culture University organized a symposium. It focused on sustainable tourism in both countries. In addition, the following companies and organizations supported and contributed to the event:
- Cultural Heritage and Handicraft Organization of Iran
- Environment Protection Organization of Iran
- Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Federation of Iran
- Nature Friend Society
- and Atour Adventure Group
How it Began?
Austrian Embassy in Iran is famous for taking part in cultural activities. This time, with Science and Culture University, they arranged a symposium about ecotourism. In fact, the symposium was a series of conferences and workshops about different aspects of ecotourism. It was on September 25th and 26th, in Science and Culture University.
In addition to the meetings, the symposium also included a trade show. Here, different travel companies, ethnic groups and handicraft masters presented their products. Atour Adventure Group had the honor of being part of this program. In the symposium, we got to meet other companies sharing the same trade as us. Besides, the representative of Iran’s tribe like Bakhtiaries, and the foreign student learning Farsi in Iran were there too. Seeing a piece of world wherever we looked was amazing.
What was presented?
As mentioned, the symposium was about ecotourism. It began with the recital of holy Quran and the playing of National Anthem. Then, the event continued with the introductory lectures of officials from Iran and Austria listed as below:
The Officials Who Gave Lecture Based on the Order of Presentation
- Dr. Hashemi – President of Science and Culture University
- Dr. Stefan Scholz – Austrian Ambassador in Iran
- Dr. Mounesan – Minister of Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism
- Dr. Gunter Liebel – Austria’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management
- Dr. Kalantari – Head of Iranian Department of Environment
- Dr. Tayyebi – President of Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research of Iran
- Mr. Zarei – President of Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Federation of Iran
- Ms. Karin Scheele – Vice President of Naturefriend Austria
After the initial lectures and welcoming, it was time to open the trade show. In a ceremony and with the presence of the guests, the trade show officially began. Meanwhile, the workshops and lectures continued that their highlights are:
Highlight of Workshops and Lectures
- Sustainable tourism in the Caucasus – Mr. Gerhard Schaumberger
- Sustainable tourism education in Austria – Christian Baumgartner
- The main principles of tourism in National Parks – Viktoria Hasler
- Small scale National Parks and Tourism – Alois Lang
- Guided tour with forester – Hartmann Polz
- Comparative study of Iranian and Austrian Mountains – Mohammadtaghi Rahnamaei
- Development of ecotourism products – Christian Baumgartner
- Quality requirements in ecotourism – Florian Felder
- Ecotourism opportunity for Iran in European Market – Florian Felder
- Exchange Experience with Iran: suggestion for successful ecotourism – Michael Raffling
- National parks, nature parks and wildlife sanctuaries in harmony with tourism – Veronica Grunschachner
- Ethical rules in ecotourism with emphasis to spirituality of mountains – Iman Khoshkhoo
- Comparative study of mountain tourism capabilities of Iran and Austria – Mohammad Taghi Rahnamaei
- Design and modernization of climbing routes – Timo Moser
- Training program for mountain sport in Austria – Ernst Dullnigg
The symposium was a great chance for everyone to learn the latest trends of ecotourism. In addition, it was an opportunity to meet influential people in this industry. The presence of professional skiers such as Fabian Lentsch was an added bonus. We really hope that after this event, great things happen in the tourism industry of Iran.