Coastal, forest tourism development plan being prepared

December 30, 2019 - 19:23

TEHRAN – The Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts is preparing a comprehensive plan for developing tourism around coastal areas and forests in the country.

The deputy tourism chief Vali Teymouri has said that the plan will be finalized by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 19, 2020).

“The plan covers forests in north and northwest of the country as well as Zagros [region], and also northern and southern coastlines with the priority being placed on Makran shorelines (in the southeast),” IRNA quoted Teymouri as saying on Monday.

The official made the remarks on Sunday during a visit to Bandar Abbas, a major port city and capital of Hormozgan Province, neighboring the Persian Gulf.

Research Institute for Cultural Heritage and Tourism is working on the plan that is envisaged under the country’s Sixth Five-Year National Development Plan (2016-2021), Teymouri noted.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the official noted that boosting maritime tourism in top on agenda, saying “The maritime economy has been neglected in the country and now we have to remove the legal barriers in order to develop maritime tourism.”

In this regard, the tourism ministry has recently signed an agreement with Ports and Maritime Organization to cooperate on maritime tourism activities, he added.

Earlier this year, Iran’s Forests, Ranges, and Watershed Management Organization announced that approximately 12,000 hectares of forests across the country is wiped out annually.

Iran has a great share of valuable old-growth forests, some of which, especially in Zagros, age over 300-400 years, he highlighted, implying that these forests are not comparable to the young reforested areas.

Back in July, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization designated Iran’s vast Hyrcanian Forest as a World Heritage site, making it the second such Iranian natural site after Lut Desert, which was granted the tag in 2016.

Spanning from the south of Azerbaijan to about 850 km eastward to the provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan, the Hyrcanian Forests are witnesses of the ancient forests of the world estimated to be survived for a long period spanning 35 and 50 million years.

AFM/MG

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