Over 100 tourism projects inaugurated in eastern Iran

September 25, 2021 - 21:0

TEHRAN – A total of 105 tourism-related projects were implemented across South Khorasan province during the previous Iranian calendar year 1399(ended on March 20), the provincial tourism chief has announced.

The government section carried out 36 projects, while 69 projects were funded by the private sector, Hassan Ramezani said on Thursday.

A majority of the projects involved eco-lodge unites, traditional restaurants, and travel agencies, the official added.

Aside from boosting tourism infrastructures, other projects included setting up hotels, tourist camps, and tourism complexes, he explained.

Some 900 billion rials ($21.4 million at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) were invested in the projects by the private sector, he noted.

During the previous Iranian year, 11 eco-lodges were built in the province’s rural areas, the official said in another part of his remarks.

“It is certain that the arrival of tourists in these eco-lodges leads to the export of the cultural identity of the region through the advertising of local products, food, clothing, handicrafts, and so on.”

He also noted that some 85 billion rials (over $2 million) in loans were paid to tourism and handicraft businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic in the province during the mentioned time.

Over 100,000 domestic travelers visited the province last year but it hosted only 20 foreign tourists because of the outbreak of coronavirus, he mentioned.

Located in eastern Iran, South Khorasan is home to many historical and natural attractions such as Birjand Castle, Dragon Cave, Furg Citadel, and Polond Desert.

The province is also known for its famous rugs as well as its saffron and barberry which are produced in almost all parts of the province.

Underway tourism-related projects across Iran

Last September, the former Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan said that over 2,400 tourism-related projects are currently being implemented across the country with a total estimated cost of 1,370 trillion rials (around $32 billion).

“This volume of investment indicates that investors recognize the growing tourism sector as a new economy in the country and have high hopes for it,” he added.

He also noted that ecotourism has developed rapidly and the number of eco-lodge units increased from 400 units in 2017 to over 2,000 units at the beginning of 2020.

The tourism industry of the country was growing and progressing well but unfortunately, it has faced the coronavirus outbreak, which brought the industry to a standstill, he added. 

ABU/AFM

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