Dear Friends and Colleagues of WFTGA
Finally I have news to publish – and it is good news too!
It cannot be any secret that the signing of the Vienna Treaty with Iran in January released once more critics of WFTGA General Assembly decision for our 2017 convention; the almost immediate renewal of more sanctions swept euphoric ideas to ground and lead to an almost paralytic standstill. Now, Executive Board can give you basics of our next convention in Iran:
The 17th WFTGA convention will start in Tehran on Saturday, January 28th, 2017 at 9 AM, the General Assembly for all Delegates one day earlier, the 27th; the price will be Euro 800 for single use. Our colleagues in Iran will offer the Pre- Tour from January 25th to 27th including Zanjan and Hamedan for Euro 320; the Post-Tour over five days will cover Shiraz, Persepolis, Yadz, Isfahan and costs Euro 580. Registration will be handled by DMC Mondial in Vienna, to facilitate all processing and payments. It will ensure that your money remains with WFTGA as long as sanctions hinder money transfer between Iran and the world. It will also allow our members to pay via credit card and online and as European Union Agency, Mondial has an insurance to cover all possible difficulties. These special services will add 10% to the cost of all bookings.
The detailed programme and all varieties for participants will be on website starting July 10th, registration will open August 1st.
WFTGA president arranged with Lufthansa and all its partners – including their code-share and joint ventures, to give 5% – 10% reduction on the flight price to any who signs up for the 17th WFTGA Convention in Tehran. The discount applies from wherever you fly, between January 17th and February 13th, 2017 – reaching Tehran. There will be additional airlines who will offer reduction, but only Lufthansa gives this without location and departure restriction. Whenever we have new and more information, we will publish accordingly; further agreements are in process.
Executive Board reminds all its supporters and followers, members and non- members, of the possibility for qualified tourist guides to apply for a Jane Orde Scholarship to participate at our Iran Convention: in 2017 we have additional sponsorship given by the Iran government and our Hosts, the Iran Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (IFTGA). Check our website and apply!
IFTGA is working to get an additional insurance for their participants while in Iran; the moment the contract is signed, it will be published.
Another special treat will be quite a support with Visa issues: the first 100 applicants will be exempt for payment of their visa – whichever country. Generally, the application will be followed by an official letter and the visa form to fill in; with this document returned to our hosts, you receive a number to get your visa, either at your nearest embassy or at the Tehran Airport – depending on your country and passport.
WFTGA welcomes our new members – in all sections of membership – from Austria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Costa Rica, France, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Namibia, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Tajikistan and Togo. I do remind you to check on our website: the more movements, the higher in the listing! It means a lot of work to create and send a newsletter. As we are all volunteers and need to work too, this is sometimes difficult and obviously the reason why ITGD newsletter is still in process under supervision of Vice President Ruby Roy, who is in contact with all of you via facebook.
We also have additional Area Representatives and still need more: look at the territories covered and find which are open for your initiative to promote WFTGA. The new Coordinator is our former EXBO Member, Govind Agrawal, supported by Secretary Esther Banike: do contact them please.
Training Committee had a special meeting in Cyprus and decided to list all WFTGA Accredited Trainers on our website: all who accomplished our standardized course and are still member of the Training Division will be published within the next weeks; if you want to be listed, you need to remain in contact with the Training Committee. Many National Trainers have taken the WFTGA accreditation and distribute our standards in their area: it is certainly the most successful promotion of our professional Ethos – a warm welcome to all newcomers!
Training saw courses in Armenia, repeatedly in Iran (one session with three trainers parallel), Saudi Arabia; Scotland accredited; other courses are planned for Kazakhstan and Oman. WFTGA Head of Training Ivana Čuruvija reaches out worldwide – also with support by UNWTO as partner.
WFTGA EXBO works on suggestions for the next General Assembly in Tehran: how to deal with individuals and membership in countries without qualification; how to integrate applicants from emerging countries with little money; how we can help communication in territories without technical access; how to include individuals who live in countries of enormous size and have no contact from one end to the other? Any suggestion for renewal and up-date by our members is welcome: the Board works volunteer and your support would be a big help!
Other documents need up-dates, like the Online Cruise Training Course; this is already on the verve to reopening.
The Treasurer Hermann Friedsam would especially appreciate speedier payment of the many unpaid 2016 membership dues. It takes a lot of time and effort to send out invoices and reminders. Please check whether you are paid up – only Members with paid up status will be allowed Delegates for the 2017 General Assembly.
Executive Board utters their deep concern about tragedies around the world: weather caprioles, terror, economic crises: if we tourist guides do not promote peace and reach out our hands to All – who else should? I do look forward to see you in Iran!
With special wishes to all colleagues
Felicitas Wressnig WFTGA President June 2016