June 6, 2019 – Only male candidates who have received training from the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (IRIR) are allowed to work as railway tour guides, the Chamedan travel and tourism news website reported on May 26, citing a recent statement by the IRIR.
The directive by the IRIR contradicts the current guidelines set by the Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), which require all male and female candidates to attend special training classes and pass exams administered by the ICHTO before working as certified tour guides. The ICHTO prohibits other agencies from altering or restricting their recruitment rules.
“The new guidelines by the IRIR are illegal. We only found out about them recently, and have written to the deputy director of the IRIR, complaining about the directive,” Vali Teymouri, the ICHTO’s deputy director for tourism, told Chamedan. “Although the IRIR has jurisdiction over the country’s railway system, all matters related to tourism, including training and licensing tour guides are the responsibility of the ICHTO.”
Mr. Teymouri added: “We ran into a similar problem with the Ministry of Sport and Youth, but resolved the issue after speaking and writing to officials at the ministry. I am certain the IRIR will reverse this directive soon.”
Railway tours have become increasingly popular in Iran in recent years mostly because of the lack of safety and security on the country’s roads.
[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]