TEHRAN – The development of towns and villages of crafts [registered by the World Crafts Council] has boosted related businesses by attracting tourists to the regions, the deputy tourism minister said.
The national and global registration makes it possible to highlight these towns and villages and to enhance their capacities, Pouya Mahmoudian announced on Saturday.
As soon as a city or a village registers at the international level or at the national level in the field of the craft industry, the development of its infrastructures becomes a public demand of any person living there, explained the person in charge.
Global craft cities can become tourist destinations, as well as centers for students, entrepreneurs and visitors interested in handicrafts, she added.
She also noted that one of the biggest goals of the Ministry of Tourism is to raise the status of these towns and villages.
With 14 entries, Iran ranks first in the world for the number of cities and towns recorded by the World Crafts Council, China with seven entries, Chile with four and India with three.
In January 2020, the cities of Shiraz, Malayer and Zanjan and the village of Qassemabad were nominated by the WCC-Asia-Pacific Region, bringing the number of world handicraft cities and villages in Iran from ten to 14.
Shiraz has been named the ‘World City of [diverse] Arts and crafts “. Malayer has become a global hub for woodcarving and carved wood furniture. Zanjan has earned the title of “World City of Watermark”. And the village of Qassemabad, nationally known for its traditional costumes, has also been promoted to the rank of a global handicraft hub. Chador Shab, a kind of homemade outerwear for women, was however the main subject of the WCC assessment for the village.
The value of Iranian handicrafts exports stood at $ 120 million in the first eleven months of the last Iranian calendar year 1399 (March 20, 2020 – February 18, 2021), Mehr reported. The country’s handicrafts exports have fallen in the months mentioned compared to the same period last year due to the damage the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted on global trade.
The Islamic Republic exported handicrafts worth $ 427 million in the first eleven months of calendar year 1398. Of this figure, some $ 190 million was earned through the suitcase trade (authorized for transfers in duty free and tax free) across 20 provinces, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts.
Ceramics, pottery, hand-woven fabrics as well as personal ornaments with precious and semi-precious stones are traditionally exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, USA, UK and other countries.
ABU / MG