New developments expected to boost hydro tourism in northern Iran

August 21, 2021 - 18:7

TEHRAN - Five special projects, which are currently underway in Golestan, are expected to boost hydro tourism across the northern province, the provincial tourism chief has said.

A budget of 5.6 trillion rials (about $134 million at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) has been invested in the projects, Ahmad Tajari announced on Saturday. 

Various potential areas for dams and water facilities have been identified across the province based on their capacities as tourism destinations, the official added.

Covering a total area of 109 hectares, the mentioned developments are expected to generate 540 job opportunities upon their completion, he explained. 

The first phase of the project, which includes preparing the water facilities for operation by equipping them with pedal boats and jet engines, and such equipment, is estimated to be completed by the end of the current Iranian calendar year 1400 (March 2022), he noted. 

Hydro tourism or water tourism involves traveling to places specifically to take part in water-based activities. Some individuals who do not wish to partake in water-related activities embark on water tourism trips so that they can visit tourist sites that sit close to bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, dams, oceans, etc. Water tourists are regularly independent travelers, although some travel businesses do organize group trips.

While water tourism often includes active chases, some water tourists visit islands and shore regions to join more relaxed pursuits such as diving or swimming. Travel businesses organize tours of coral reefs and arrange for local tour guides to preside over excursions on which travelers can swim with local marine life such as dolphins or even sharks. Some tour operators also cater to families who are primarily focused on swimming and tanning rather than interacting with aquatic life.

Water trips occasionally involve inland destinations such as lakes and rivers. Holidaymakers can sail or swim on lakes while many rivers are ideally suited to white water rafting. Additionally, some leisure businesses operate water parks that contain swimming pools, water slides, and areas for kayaking or canoeing.

Golestan is reportedly embracing some 2,500 historical and natural sites, with UNESCO-registered Gonbad-e Qabus – a one-millennium-old brick tower – amongst its most famous. Narratives say the tower has influenced various subsequent designers of tomb towers and other cylindrical commemorative structures both in the region and beyond. The UNESCO comments that the tower bears testimony to the cultural exchange between Central Asian nomads and the ancient civilization of Iran.

ABU/AFM

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