Lesser-known destinations to gain footholds on tourism map

October 1, 2021 - 21:11

TEHRAN – Much more attention will be devoted to various destinations in the west side of Iran, the ones which are generally lesser-known to potential sightseers and vacationers, an official with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts has said.

“Introducing the lesser-known or less-favored travel destinations is part of the ministry’s policies, and paying more attention to the western axis of the country is in line with those strategies,” Mohammad Qasemi said on Thursday.

“The west axis is our concern for tourism, which we intend to raise at [various] international tourism conferences,” the official stated.

Qasemi added off-the-beaten-track destinations are becoming more popular as a new trend worldwide. “Tourism has diversified and different excursions can be offered to tourists, so we have to introduce new tourism routes.”

Earlier in July, UNESCO registered Iran’s Uramanat cultural landscape to its list of world heritage sites. Stretched on the slopes of Sarvabad county, and shared between the provinces of Kordestan and Kermanshah in western Iran, the scenic landscape embraces hundreds of villages, 106,000 hectares of land, and 303,000 hectares of surrounding properties.

It boasts dense and step-like rows of houses in a way that the roof of each house forms the yard of the upper one, a feature that adds to its charm and attractiveness.

Over the past couple of years, western Iranian provinces have held several meetings to discuss ways to expand tourism, bringing together local officials, hoteliers, travel agents, and tour operators from provinces of Lorestan, Ilam, Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Kermanshah, Kordestan, Hamedan, Zanjan and East Azarbaijan, amongst others.

The Islamic Republic 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, Iran aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025. The latest available data show eight million tourists visited the Islamic Republic during the first ten months of the past Iranian calendar year (ended March 20).

AFM

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