Iran moves into flourishing ecotourism market

April 15, 2017

TEHRAN – The ecotourism market in Iran has witnessed a growth over the past couple of years, drawing more domestic and foreign backpackers to the pristine and relatively undisturbed natural areas of the country.

Some 530 ecotourism projects have been implemented since the current administration took office in 2013, Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization Director Zahra Ahmadipour said on April 11.

“A total of 274 eco camps have been constructed throughout the country since the beginning of 2016,” she said, adding that such projects help generate jobs and provide sustainable sources of income for locals.

The CHTHO has announced that the number of natural tourist sites has grown from 24 to over 320 during the past four years.

The organization is set to increase the number to 2,000 by the end of the sixth Five-Year Socio-Economic Development Plan, which ends in 2021. The eco-lodges will be constructed in about 500 villages across the country.

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

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.   

Following a landmark nuclear deal clinched by Iran and world powers in 2015, which resulted in lifting of some economic sanctions, Iran now finds itself back on travel brochures and is scrambling to up its standards to cater to the demands of potential foreign travelers.

AFM/MG