Yazd to boost astronomical tourism

July 10, 2021 - 17:10

TEHRAN –The astronomical tourism is planned to be developed in the city of Bahabad, the central province of Yazd, a local tourism official has announced.

The tourism infrastructure of the region will be improved in the near future, Alireza Kazemi said on Saturday.

In addition to its location as one of the darkest observation spots in West Asia, Bahabad has many natural tourist areas, low light pollution, and little dust in the air, which makes it a great place for stargazing, the official added.

By arranging astronomical tours, the region could attract astronomical groups and night sky enthusiasts, thereby boosting tourism, he noted.

Astronomical tourism represents a less-studied segment of sustainable tourism, where a dark night sky is an underlying resource, and this branch of tourism could lead to sustainable development in rural areas.

Modern life, never-sleeping cities, air pollution, and industrial dust have ruined the human experience of starry velvet nights our ancestors used to praise. In modern cities, the chance to see a sky full of stars is rare, but there are some places in the world, which are still safe from human reach.

Illuminated only by the stars and having a clear sky, Iranian deserts are dream places for astronomy enthusiasts and sky lovers to experience dark night observatories.

The country is also home to several historical caravanserais hosting astronomical tourists from ancient eras to the present, which are restored and facilitated to receive guests.

Astronomy has a long and rich history among Iranians. Stars have fascinated humans for ages, while some have worshiped them Iranians have studied them and there are world-renowned Iranian scientists in this field such as Nasir ad-Din Tusi, who was the founder of Maragheh observatory, an astronomical observatory established in 1259, with a library, which is said at one time to have held over 400,000 volumes of literature related to astronomy and astrology.

Some countries in the world have used their regional potentials to develop the tourism industry in this particular field and have been able to introduce themselves as an attractive destination for astronomy tours.

For several years, Chile has been able to become a leader in astronomical tourism by focusing on this type of tourism. Countries such as Canada, Sweden, Russia, India, and China have also been successful in this industry, and many tourists from all over the world travel to these countries every year.

With its winding lanes, a forest of badgirs (wind catchers), mud-brick houses, atmospheric alleyways, and centuries of history, Yazd is a delightful place to stay, referring to as a ‘don't miss’ destination by almost all travel associates in the region. The oasis city is wedged between the northern Dasht-e Kavir and the southern Dasht-e Lut on a flat plain ringed by mountains.

Yazd Jameh Mosque, Dowlatabad Garden, the Yazd Atash Behram, also known as Atashkadeh-e Yazd, Towers of Silence, and adjacent desert landscape are among its tourist sites. 

ABU/MG

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