Visits to Golestan tourist attractions at 15.7m in H1

October 6, 2019 - 19:34

TEHRAN – More than 15.7 million visits to Golestan province’s tourist attractions were registered during the first half of the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21), provincial tourism chief announced on Saturday.

A total of 15,724,383 visits by domestic travelers and 5,575 ones by foreign nationals were registered to natural and historical attractions of the province, Ebrahim Karimi said, CHTN reported.

Some 33,000 people opted to stay at eco-lodge units that are scattered across the province, he said.

The attractions were toured by over 20,800,000 domestic visitors and 6,235 international ones during the past Iranian year, the official said.

The official added that 3,230 jobs, which are directly related to tourism, were created in the province over the past 18 months.

In September, provincial tourism official Ahmad Tajari said that the idea of staying at an eco-lodge has been welcomed by thousands of travelers to Golestan province.

“[Many] travelers to Golestan province have welcomed staying at eco-lodges as some 33,000 people have been accommodated during the first half of the current [Iranian calendar] year,” he said.

“Such eco-lodges are a source of sustainable employment, yet they help to increase household income, especially in rural areas of the province.”

Iran’s tourism body said in 2018 that 2,000 eco-lodges will be constructed countrywide until 2021. Experts say each eco-lodge unit generates jobs for seven to eight people on the average so that the scheme could create 160,000 jobs.

Golestan is reportedly embracing some 2,500 historical and natural sites, with UNESCO-registered Gonbad-e Qabus – a one-millennium-old brick tower – amongst its most famous.

Narratives say the tower has influenced various subsequent designers of tomb towers and other cylindrical commemorative structures both in the region and beyond. The UNESCO comments that tower bears testimony to the cultural exchange between Central Asian nomads and the ancient civilization of Iran.