Not a tourist hub but home to eight UNESCO sites!

April 19, 2022 - 20:43

TEHRAN – Kerman is still absent from the maps of many domestic sightseers; a matter that puts travel experts at odds while the southern Iranian province is home to eight World Heritage sites. 

According to the available data, visits by Noruz trippers to the southern province grow by about 39 percent and overnight stays rise 27 percent throughout the Iranian new year holidays (started March 21) compared to the same period three years earlier. 

However, experts in the field of tourism believe these figures are insignificant and not comparable to the province’s tourism capacity, despite its existing tourism infrastructure, IRNA reported on Tuesday.

“Most tourists do not choose Kerman as a tourist destination, but only use it to cross to and from other provinces.” 

They believe the most significant problem is not presenting properly the province’s tourism capabilities to the target community. 

If the province’s cultural heritage and tourism assets are properly identified and promoted to the people, the number of tourists and accommodations will increase in the coming years.

Over the past few years, Kerman’s infrastructure for tourism has improved significantly, but is more important to focus on the issue of attracting tourists during this time, experts say.  

“Strategies such as introducing attractions, extensive and targeted marketing, as well as creating side attractions for tourists should be implemented.” 

Last August, the provincial tourism chief Fereydoun Fa’ali lamented that despite being home to seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, Kerman province is not still a giant tourist destination. 

“Extra efforts need to be made to promote the vast southern province of Kerman as a tourist destination for domestic travelers and foreign tourists,” he said. 

Despite its world-famous attractions, diverse and inviting climates, and conditions, this province is not as popular as it should be, the official added. 

“It is important that governmental and private sectors participate in making Kerman a new destination and market for tourism, given its seven World Heritage sites and various capacities including UNESCO-tagged Bam Citadel.”

Moreover, tourism infrastructure throughout the province needs to be upgraded, he concluded. 

The UNESCO-tagged Bam and its Cultural Landscape is located on the southern edge of the Iranian high plateau, in Kerman province, close to the Pakistan border. It’s highly regarded as an outstanding example of an ancient fortified settlement.

According to UNESCO, the origins of the citadel can be traced back to the Achaemenid period (6th to 4th centuries BC) and even beyond. The ensemble was at the crossroads of important trade routes as well in its heyday sometime between the 7th to 11th centuries. The massive fortress and its environs were almost completely brought down to earth due to a devastating earthquake on December 26, 2003.

The big and sprawling Kerman province has been a cultural melting pot since antiquity, blending Persians with subcontinental tribe dwellers. It is home to myriad historical sites and scenic landscapes such as Bazaar-e Sartasari, Jabalieh Dome, Ganjali Khan Bathhouse, Malek Jameh Mosque, and Shahdad Desert to name a few.

ABU/ AFM 
 

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