International Conference on Tourism Branding

International Conference on Tourism Branding, 3-4 January 2016, Isfahan, Iran  

International Conference on Tourism Branding was held in Isfahan, Iran between 3 and 4 January, 2016 by the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization and in cooperation with World Tourism Organization and International Hospitality & Tourism Consortium. At this event, the International Center on Qanats and Historic Hydraulic Structures (UNESCO-ICQHS) was invited to chair a panel entitled “Qanats and their Cultural Landscape:  Brand of Tourism in Bam”. The panelists included Mr. Majid Labbaf Khaneiki (UNESCO-ICQHS), Dr. Mohammad Hossein Ayatollahi (University of Yazd), Ms. Ladan Ghahremani (North Carolina State University, USA) and Mr. Alireza Riyazi (Mayor of Bam). This panel examined the two elements of qanat and tourism as well as the relationship between them, with a focus on Bam region. Qanat was defined as an indigenous technique to extract groundwater, being made up of an almost horizontal tunnel with a very gentle slope along with some access wells in order to drain groundwater out. The panel delved into the urban values revolving around qanat, including traditional architecture, which can be brought to the fore in tourism sector especially in the Iranian desert cities. According to the panel, qanat is a genius technology which has made it possible for humans to exist and flourish in such a dry environment. This panel suggested adding new functions to the existing qanats in Bam in order to better justify their existence and guarantee their preservation. One of these functions is tourism in qanat. In other words, tourism and its revenues can give rise to more motivation for maintaining qanats. On the other hand, qanat as a new tourism attraction can help develop the tourism sector in Bam, and become a brand for tourism in this area. Bam is a city whose social and civil evolution is deeply indebted to qanats, so urban tourism and qanat tourism are interwoven in this region. In Bam, qanat system enjoys many makings which can be deployed in tourism sector. The panel concluded that the most outstanding potentials of qanats for tourism consist in their economic and cultural capacities and also their systematic interaction with other urban and rural elements and eventually relatively easy access to them.

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