Eco-lodge units inaugurated in northern Iran

February 21, 2021 - 21:6

TEHRAN -A total of 21 eco-lodge units have recently been inaugurated in the northern province of Gilan, a local official announced on Sunday.

A budget of 600 billion rials ($14.2 million at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) has been allocated to the construction of the eco-lodges, which are expected to develop tourism in the region, Reza Hassanpour said. 

Establishing these eco-lodge units is estimated to generate 100 job opportunities directly for the locals, the official added.  

He also noted that 10 more eco-lodges are scheduled to come on stream by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20). 

In 2019, Gilan was selected as the first province to start the country’s comprehensive tourism plan, which is being developed under the auspices of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The comprehensive plan is aimed to serve as a roadmap to guide tourists from all over the globe to achieve a sustainable and competitive tourism market.

Bounded by the Caspian Sea and the Republic of Azerbaijan on the north, Gilan, in the far past, was within the sphere of influence of the successive Achaemenid, Seleucid, Parthian, and Sassanid empires that ruled Iran until the 7th century CE.

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/ AFM

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