Tourism projects worth $5.9b underway in Mazandaran

February 12, 2021 - 22:26

TEHRAN – A total of 250 tourism-related projects worth 250 trillion rials ($5.9 billion at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) are being implemented across the northern Iranian province of Mazandaran. 

On Thursday, Seifollah Farzaneh, the provincial tourism chief, called on potential private investors to help fund the [unfinished] projects to have them implemented ahead of the schedule.  

“We expect all banks [and potential private investors] to come to the fore to help complete those projects, which are under construction and semi-finished.” 

This way a large number of native young people will be gaining employment opportunities when these projects are completed, the official said. 

Elsewhere in his remarks, the official pointed to several tourism projects recently inaugurated across the lush green province. 

Although the province’s tourism sector is struggling with different problems and issues due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, 23 tourism-related projects were inaugurated across the province on the occasion of Fajr celebrations (Jan. 31- Feb. 10, marking the victory anniversary of the Islamic Revolution), he said. 

Worth 3.2 trillion rials ($76 million), the recently-inaugurated projects included a 20-room hotel and 22 eco-lodge units, which are expected to create 129 job opportunities for the locals, he explained.  

Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Ali-Asghar Mounesan announced in August 2020 that Iran’s travel sector had suffered a loss of 12 trillion rials (some $2.85 billion) since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, however, he mentioned that all the tourism businesses across the country would have the capacity to fully resume their activities both in domestic and foreign markets.

“Many tourism projects have been completed, or are being implemented, showing that a very good capacity has been created in the field of tourism in the country and [this trend] should not be stopped,” the minister stated.

Mounesan added 2,451 tourism-related projects worth 1,370 trillion rials (around $32 billion) are being implemented across the country that signals a prosperous future for Iran’s tourism sector.

The tourism minister also said the coronavirus pandemic should not bring traveling to a complete standstill. “Corona is a fact, but can the virus stop tourism? Certainly not. For us, the coronavirus is a new experience in dealing with crises that teaches tourism experts around the world how to deal with such a disaster, and thankfully governments are turning this into an opportunity for better planning.”

Iran expects to reap a bonanza from its numerous tourist spots such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers, and mansions, of which 24 being inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, it aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025. The latest available data show eight million tourists visited the Islamic Republic during the first ten months of the past Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2019).

ABU/AFM
 

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