Handicrafts are part of the tangible cultural heritage of all nations. This cultural component can lead to economic development. Regarding the role of handicrafts in tourism and development, the World Crafts Council (WCC), affiliated with UNESCO, was founded in 1964 to help economic growth for craftspeople worldwide.
The Core of Tourism
Handicrafts, as cultural souvenirs, play a significant role in tourism too. In many countries, handicrafts are considered the core of tourism development, and tourism facilities have been built near the major production centers. Some try to show their originality and identity by offering new products made through a combination of their national symbols with their handicrafts.
Handicraft is a significant industry in Iran. The tours to Iran usually include buying Persian handicrafts, especially Persian carpets and Persian miniatures. The Iranian handicraft industry is developing due to its great diversity. “Different countries are developing handicrafts worldwide by not underestimating them as just decorative objects,” said Rasoul Zargarpour, governor of the Isfahan Province.
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Towards International Markets
He said that special attention is dedicated to handicrafts, especially in rural areas, by making rules for handicrafts in Iran’s 6th Development Plan. He also noted that the development of handicrafts has a significant role in employment, entrepreneurship, and economic growth. Establishing large handicraft workshops and knowledge-based centers for handicrafts, forming export committees, finding new markets, and making targeted policies to encourage more producers to be active in international markets should be among our programs.
Handicrafts and Tourism
“Tourism and handicrafts are two main elements in resistance economy. Naqsh-e Jahan Square is the center of genuine handicrafts. Last year, Shahreza was registered nationally as the city of pottery. Moreover, Mehr Gerd Village is going to be introduced as the village of handicrafts in the world”, Jafar Jafarsalehi, deputy head of the handicraft department of Isfahan ICHTO, added. There is a mutual relationship between tourism and handicrafts. Handicrafts are one of the factors influencing tourist attractions, and tourism development will end in the growth of handicraft production and sale.