Tourism ministry uncovers scheme for rural revive

April 8, 2023 - 18:40

TEHRAN – Iran’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts has uncovered a new scheme based on which a selection of 100 villages will be revived for tourism in two years.

The tourism ministry in close collaboration with the Islamic Revolution Housing Foundation is to implement the scheme to improve required standards, and boost the local economy and quality of life, IRNA reported on Saturday.

“Based on previous agreements and to support and improve quality of life for residents of the historical villages, an operational package has been prepared and is now on the agenda,” said Ali Darabi, the deputy tourism minister.

“100 historical and touristic villages have been designated for the scheme to be implemented with the help of the Islamic Revolution Housing Foundation,” Darabi said.

Over the past couple of years, an increasing number of travelers are looking for something different, such as spending a day in the tranquil countryside, picking fresh fruits, watching rice grow, fishing by the seaside, eating traditional dishes or even staying with locals.

Iran has a lot to offer nature lovers, including pristine and diverse natural gifts. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is planning to award a selection of rural destinations around the world with the title of “Best Tourism Villages,” and the villages of Kharanaq, Barandaq, and Lark have been nominated.

Traditionally, farming has been the main form of production in Iranian countryside areas. However, mechanization, changes in farming methods, and the effects of globalization have had a significant impact on rural communities’ social structures. As a result, these communities are increasingly becoming places of consumption where tourism plays a significant role, rather than places of production.

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 UN body aims to turn the spotlight on the “uniqueness” of each village to make tourism a means for further development in rural areas. “We want to recognize the uniqueness of each village and showcase the best initiatives to make tourism a means for a better future in rural areas. As we restart tourism, we work to ensure that we leave no one - and no village- behind,” according to UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.

Experts believe the ultimate goal of the rise and development of the rural tourism industry is to increase local economic activity, but in the long run, to make this possible, it is crucial to maintain a healthy environment and expand its capacity.


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