Tens of tourism farms to open to public in central Iran
Tens of tourism farms are becoming ready to open doors to the public in Markazi province, the deputy tourism chief said on Wednesday.
“Nowadays, rural and farm tourism is becoming more and more popular due to an increasing tendency toward specialized forms of traveling that we see in the global scene,” Seyyed Hassan Hosseini said. In this regard, tens of tourism farms are currently becoming prepared across the province in terms of essential infrastructure to host nature lovers in near future, the official said. There are gardens and farms in the province that embrace special attractions such as special trees and vegetation, fishponds, atmospheric countryside, amongst others, he said. “By obtaining a certificate, agricultural operators and farmers can take tourist tours to their farms and gardens and earn money… Farmers may offer sightseers their fresh livestock and agricultural products at the harvest time.” Recreational activities such as hiking, horse and carriage rides, hot air balloon rides over farms, photography, painting, enjoying local cooking cuisine and souvenirs are among elements visitors could benefit from, the official explained. In recent years, an increasing number of travelers are looking for something different such as spending a day in tranquil countryside, picking fresh fruits, watching rice grow, fishing by the seaside, eating traditional dishes, or even staying with locals. That is in contrast to traditional ways of travel which are made mostly through travel agencies. As tourists mature, more and more sorts of travel are welcomed by the ones who are in search of off-the-beaten routes. Having numerous pristine yet diverse natural gifts, Iran has many to offer to nature lovers. For instance, the villages of Kharanaq, Barandaq, and Lark have been nominated for the ‘Best Tourism Villages’ label, which the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is projected to grant to a selection of rural destinations across the globe. 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 say the growth of the local economy is the ultimate goal of the rise and development of the rural tourism industry, but in the long run, to enable the long-term development of the rural tourism industry, the healthy maintenance and growth of environmental capacity is very important. Iranian countryside areas have traditionally been a place of production, dominated by farming, but changes in farming practices, mechanization, and the influences of globalization have deeply affected the fabric of its rural communities, which have increasingly shifted from being production spaces to consumption spaces, in which tourism plays an important role.