First agritourism farm to open in Lahijan 

January 15, 2022 - 18:20

TEHRAN – The first-ever agritourism farm is planned to be inaugurated in Lahijan, northern Gilan province in the near future, the provincial tourism chief has said.

The complex has been granted the first-ever agritourism permit issued in Lahijan, Vali Jahani announced on Saturday. 

Such permits are granted to eligible farm owners in the country to launch their agritourism businesses, aiming to set certain standards in a move to ensure the quality of such services in the country.

A budget of one trillion rials ($3.5 million) has been invested in the project, which is expected to generate 600 job opportunities, he noted. 

Today, tourism and its economy constitute one of the main pillars of the world trade economy, and many economists and policymakers see the sector as central to sustainable development, the official added. 

In general, agritourism is a new branch of rural tourism that happens around farms and pastures with activities for entertainment, diversity, or for educational purposes to see and enjoy along with historical, cultural and natural attractions, he explained. 

Agritourism and nature-tourism enterprises might include outdoor recreation (fishing, hunting, wildlife study, horseback riding), educational experiences (cannery tours, cooking classes, or tea or coffee tasting), entertainment (harvest festivals or barn dances), hospitality services (farm stays, guided tours, or outfitter services), and on-farm direct sales (u-pick operations or roadside stands).

It is a relatively new branch of the travel industry in which tourists stay with local people in rural areas. Farm/ranch recreation refers to activities conducted on private agricultural lands, which might include fee-hunting and fishing, overnight stays, educational activities, etc.

Experts believe that in addition to the customer services jobs, agritourism pays special attention to the production sector, saying agricultural tourism is much more important and practical than other branches of tourism because it creates a new chain and diversity in the field of production and services.

Agritourism is a subset of a larger industry called rural tourism that includes resorts, off-site farmers' markets, non-profit agricultural tours, and other leisure and hospitality businesses that attract visitors to the countryside.

Gilan is well-known for its rich Iron Age cemeteries such as Marlik that have been excavated over the past century. It was once within the sphere of influence of the successive Achaemenian, Seleucid, Parthian, and Sassanid empires that ruled Iran until the 7th century CE. The subsequent Arab conquest of Iran led to the rise of many local dynasties, and Gilan acquired an independent status that continued until 1567.

Sophisticated Rasht, capital of Gilan province, has long been a weekend escape for residents of Tehran who are looking to sample the famous local cuisine and hoping for some pluvial action – it's the largest, and wettest town in the northern region. Gilan is divided into a coastal plain including the large delta of Sefid Rud and adjacent parts of the Alborz mountain range.


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