15 eco-lodge units to come on stream in eastern Iran

January 24, 2021 - 17:4

TEHRAN –A total of 15 eco-lodges, which are currently being constructed across the eastern South Khorasan province, will come on stream by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (Mach 20).

Establishing eco-lodge units could help boost tourism in the region, while it generates job opportunities in the rural areas, the provincial tourism chief has said.

Some 80 eco-lodge units have been inaugurated across the province over the past four years, which has provided the ground for attracting more domestic and foreign tourists, Hassan Ramezani announced on Sunday.

Last April, the official announced that the number of eco-lodge units has increased by fourfold in the province within a year.

“Some 25 eco-lodge [units] existed across the province at the end of the [Iranian year] 1397 (March 2019) while the figure has reached 100, eighty of which are operational.”

In December 2019, Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan inaugurated eleven eco-lodges during his visit to the province.

Last November, the minister referred to the eco-lodges inaugurated across the country and noted that increasing the number of units could create job opportunities in rural areas and boost tourist arrivals in these regions.

He also noted that promoting ecotourism can help reverse migration and attract more foreign tourists. Apart from eco-lodge units, there are also boutique hotels and traditional accommodation centers which could flourish the tourism sector and provide infrastructure in these regions, Mounesan mentioned.

The tourism ministry has set a target to help build 2,000 eco-lodges by 2021, believing such guest houses could cater to sustainable development and job creation in the countryside and rural areas.

Experts say each eco-lodge unit generates jobs for seven to eight people on average so that the scheme could create 160,000 jobs.

The culturally-diverse country never disappoints visitors when it comes to eco-tourism, sightseeing, and even tribal tourism as it is home to many regional people including ones with Turk and Arab elements in addition to the Kurds, Baloch, Bakhtyari, Lurs, and other smaller minorities such as Armenians, Assyrians, Jews, and others.

ABU/MG

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