Over $4m channeled into ecotourism projects in Iran

TEHRAN – In line with the goal of promoting ecotourism industry, Iran has allotted 140 billion rials (over $4 million) to the construction of 258 lodging facilities across the country.

The allocation has been made by Omid Entrepreneurship Fund as part of an agreement with the Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicraft Organization (CHTHO), IRNA quoted CHTHO Deputy Director Morteza Rahmani-Movahhed as saying on Saturday.

Meanwhile, 40 billion rials (around $1.2m) more is planned to be allocated to the projects, he added.

A total of 327 certified lodging facilities in 24 provinces and free zones nationwide showcases flourishing tourism in rural areas, natural landscapes, and historical sites of the country, he stressed.

Provinces of Kerman, Isfahan, and Yazd with respectively having 81, 63, and 49 such dwellings are the most thriving ecotourism spots in the country, while Qeshm Free Zone, provinces of Mazandaran and Semnan are next in the ranking, he explained.

Back in September, the Qeshm Free Zone Organization in close collaboration with the private sector started creating eight eco camps along the coastlines of the vast island, which is sprawled in the Persian Gulf.

Ecotourism in Iran:

Due to a very diverse natural setting, Iran offers a lively and interesting environment to the natural loving travelers. It embraces temperate forests in the north with relatively high humidity and rainfall, deserts and salt lakes in the central parts, towering mountain ranges and picks, as well as glaciers and coastal areas.

Popular ecotourism activities in Iran include mountain and desert treks, bird watching in coastal areas and wetlands as well as diving.

There are a number of natural parks and protected areas such as Golestan, Kavir, Lar, Khosh Yellagh, Bakhtegan and Bamoo, which offer ecotourism attractions.

The undated photo above shows travelers trekking on the Kavir National Park, a protected ecological zone located 120 kilometers southward Tehran. The park known as “Little Africa” encompasses desert and steppe landscapes and it is also home to variety of local fauna.

Source: Tehran Times. Date: October 17, 2016