Tourism projects worth $3.8b underway in Khorasan Razavi

July 18, 2020 - 22:23

TEHRAN – A total of 248 tourism-related projects worth 162 trillion rials (around $3.8 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials) are currently underway in Khorasan Razavi province, which is a top destination both for pilgrims and holidaymakers.

“Some 2,300 authorized tourism units are active in Khorasan Razavi province, ranking it the first nationwide,” IRNA quoted Ahmad Dinari, deputy tourism chief of the province, as saying on Saturday.

Mashhad, the capital of Khorasan Razavi province, is Iran’s holiest and second-largest city. Its raison d’être and main sight is the striking massive shrine complex of Imam Reza (AS), the eight Shia Imam

Dozens of five-star hotels and hostels are dotted across Mashhad. The city has also the highest concentration of water parks in the country, and it also embraces a variety of cultural and historical sites that are generally crowded. The metropolis is also a good place to buy top handwoven rugs and carpets, and it’s a staging post for travel to Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and little-touristic Khorasan regions.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Dinari highlighted the flow of overseas investments over the past couple of years, noting “$82 million of foreign investment has been made in the tourism sector of the province since President Hassan Rouhani took office in 2013.”

The occupancy rate of hotels in Khorasan Razavi, one of Iran’s giant travel destinations, has plummeted to 10 percent, ILNA quoted Abolfazl Mokaramifar, the provincial tourism chief, as saying earlier his month.

Before the coronavirus puts almost everything on lockdown, Mashhad, played host to thousands of travelers and pilgrims who come from various Iranian cities, neighboring countries, and even across the globe to visit the holy shrine.

According to official statistics, some 37 million Iranian pilgrims and travelers visited the shrine city of Mashhad during the first ten months of the past Iranian calendar year 1398 (started on March 21, 2019). Of whom some eight million came by road, six million by rail, 3.8 million by air, and 18 million by private cars.

AFM/MG

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