Tourism projects worth $159.5m underway in Semnan

September 28, 2021 - 18:44

TEHRAN-A total of 30 tourism-related projects worth 6.7 trillion rials ($159.5 million at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) are currently underway across the north-central Semnan province, the provincial tourism chief has announced. 

The projects, which include hotels, tourist complexes, accommodation centers, and traditional restaurants, are estimated to generate over 470 job opportunities upon their completion, IRNA quoted Hamidreza Dustmohammadi as saying on Tuesday. 

They will also add some 338 beds to the hospitality sector of the province, the official added.

The main population centers of Semnan province lie along the ancient Silk Road (and modern-day Imam Reza Expressway), linking Rey (Tehran) with Khorasan (Mashhad). While few visitors spend much time in the area, driving through you can easily seek out several well-preserved caravanserais (notably Dehnamak and Ahowan), cisterns (the Cafe Abenbar in Garmsar is a special treat), and ruined mud citadels (Padeh is lumpy but fascinating). The large, bustling cities of Semnan, Damghan, and Shahrud (Bastam) all have a small selection of historic buildings and Semnan has a fine old covered bazaar.

The history of Semnan dates back to ancient Iran when the city was part of the Median Empire. At the time of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia, Semnan was a magnificent city. After the attack of Alexander, Semnan became famous as Koomesh. The great era of the prosperity of this city began after the advent of the Parthian Empire.

Due to its location, which was on the traffic center of the north, south, east, and west, Semnan had always been the subject of a struggle for power in the Sassanid period. In the Sassanid and post-Islamic periods, the city was the basis of central governments in the area.

Ongoing tourism projects 

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.

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 26 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.

ABU/AFM


 

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