Culturally-rich Fars province takes step to boost agritourism

November 25, 2020 - 19:47

TEHRAN – Iran’s Fars province, globally renowned for its vibrant cultural, historical, and archaeological gems such as Persepolis and Pasargadae, aims to jump-start agritourism as it is home to vast changing natural landscapes as well.

The provincial tourism department has issued two commercial activity licenses for two separate farms within a month letting those establishing agritourism-related businesses; a move that raises hopes for greater usage of the natural landscapes to develop rural tourism.

One of the licenses was issued to Delaram farm, situated in Kharameh country, some 75 km east of Shiraz, and the other to a farm located in Mohr county some 330 km southward of the capital city, according to the provincial tourism department.  

The first farm is regarded as an exemplary place for the breeding of French dairy goats with a capacity of one thousand animals. And the second embraces various agricultural lands and greenhouses including ones for growing colored peppers, which are exported to Russia. Lemons, grapefruit, tangerines, and several flowers are also being produced on the farm.

Agritourism, a relatively new branch of the travel industry in which tourists stay with local people in rural areas abroad, is widely deemed as a means to materialize the national goal of 'Surge in Production’.

Today, agritourism is regarded as a stimulus to the imbalanced economy of agriculture sectors and the tendency for emotional and nostalgic roots of the modern world citizens and due to factors such as visitor participation in farm activities, direct purchase of products, spending a night at a farm, curiosity and learning about the farm and agriculture products has been able to create a wide target population.

Farm/ranch recreation refers to activities conducted on private agricultural lands, which might include fee-hunting and fishing, overnight stays, educational activities, etc. This category of tourism is a subset of a larger industry known as agritourism. Agritourism is "a commercial enterprise at a working farm, ranch, or agricultural plant conducted for the enjoyment of visitors that generates supplemental income for the owner."

Agritourism and nature-tourism enterprises might include Outdoor recreation (fishing, hunting, wildlife study, horseback riding), educational experiences (cannery tours, cooking classes, or tea or coffee tasting), entertainment (harvest festivals or barn dances), hospitality services (farm stays, guided tours, or outfitter services), and on-farm direct sales (u-pick operations or roadside stands).

Agritourism is a subset of a larger industry called rural tourism that includes resorts, off-site farmers' markets, non-profit agricultural tours, and other leisure and hospitality businesses that attract visitors to the countryside.

Rural Tourism, however, differs from agritourism in two ways. First, rural tourism enterprises do not necessarily occur on a farm or ranch, or at an agricultural plant, they do not generate supplemental income for the agricultural enterprise.

To cite an example, we could refer to saffron farms in northeast Iran that are going to fame as a new destination for agritourism. Iranian Saffron is known as the “red gold”, saffron is a magical ingredient in Persian culture, from aromatic foods and colorful desserts, to the physical and spiritual medicine.

The ancient region of Fars, also spelled Pars, or Persis, was the heart of the Achaemenian Empire (550–330 BC), which was founded by Cyrus the Great and had its capital at Pasargadae. Darius I the Great moved the capital to nearby Persepolis in the late 6th or early 5th century BC.

The capital city of Shiraz is home to some of the country’s most magnificent buildings and sights. Increasingly, it draws more and more foreign and domestic sightseers flocking into this provincial capital which was the literary capital of Persia during the Zand dynasty from 1751 to 1794.

AFM/

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