Semnan has considerable potential for nature, rural tourism

February 11, 2023 - 19:28

TEHRAN – The north-central Semnan province has important capacities in rural tourism and nature tourism, an official with the tourism ministry has said.

A variety of historical and natural attractions have made Semnan a popular tourist destination, Ahmad Tajari explained on Friday.

By holding tourism events and marketing and advertising, the province could demonstrate its capacities in cultural heritage, tourism and handicrafts, the official added.

In this regard, the private sector can provide the necessary infrastructure and create tourism facilities to attract more tourists, he noted.

Nature-based tourism is any type of tourism that relies on experiences directly related to natural attractions and includes ecotourism, adventure tourism, extractive tourism, wildlife tourism, and nature retreats.

Eco and nature-based tourists seek and expect a high level of service and products directly related to natural attractions, and they are willing to pay for it. They deliver more economic benefits than other tourists because they spend more and stay longer.

Iranian officials and policymakers in the realm of travel expect such a branch of tourism development will end and possibly reverse the trend of migration from villages to cities by creating sustainable jobs and prosperity for local communities.

When it comes to rural tourism, Iran, which has many pristine yet diverse natural settings, has many to offer to nature lovers. Rural tourism as well as agritourism and farm stays can be regarded as a win-win both for local communities and post-modern travelers who are tracing unique experiences.

Sightseers may stay with a rural or nomadic family for a while or enjoy an independent stay and assist them with day-to-day life. It also opens up an opportunity to feel rustic routines, agriculture, traditions, arts, and culture.

Rural tourism, most of all, sets the ground for economic development in rural areas by creating additional income and employment. It can also improve the social well-being in rural areas, for instance by stimulating improvements in infrastructure, sanitation and electricity networks.

The World Tourism Organization sees rural tourism as a type of activity in which the visitor’s experience is related to a wide range of products generally linked to nature-based activities, agriculture, rural lifestyle, culture, angling, and sightseeing. Such tourism also possesses characteristics such as low population density, a landscape dominated by agriculture and forestry, as well as traditional social structure and lifestyle.

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.


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