TEHRAN – Iran has a serious look at ecotourism as a means of sustainable development in rural villages, the deputy tourism minister said on Thursday.
“Iran’s tourism industry, which has a high potential for transformation and creating new opportunities, takes a serious and practical look at ecotourism as an instrument for achieving sustainable tourism in villages,” Ali-Asghar Shalbafian said.
The official said that in the global scene, over three decades of work in this field has resulted in both material success, and further protection for the environment and human societies, the official explained.
Shalbafian made the remarks in an address to a national scientific conference on ecotourism, adding that the integration of policies in fields of economy and environment is a pillar of development, ISNA reported.
“Undoubtedly, the integration of economic and environmental policies plays an important role in different dimensions of development, especially when it comes to recusing problems faced by future generations.”
Having a wide variety of territorial values, Iran, for its part, has recognized such integration as an important principle, the official said.
Talking to the attendees, Shalbafian voiced hope that the conference’s outputs be used in the path of sustainable development.
“We take this valuable event as a good omen and we hope that the results of this meeting, which is based on world-class experiences, will be a basis for decision-making in the path of sustainable development.”
Experts believe that ecotourism, if considered as a responsible trip to natural areas, will help preserve the environment and establish a comfortable life for local people.
In other words, ecotourism should address multiple objectives of environmental protection, respect for local communities, and promotion of the socio-cultural and economic components of the host community, which align with the concept of sustainable development.
In addition, ecotourism is widely considered as one of the main components in the formation and development of a sustainable economy.
Iran has a very diverse natural environment and offers various excursions for nature lovers. Tourists can live with a nomadic or rural family or enjoy an independent stay. The country is home to a plethora of historic palaces, caravanserais, bathhouses, madrasas and other impressive monuments, which can sustain the thriving tourism and hospitality industry if properly managed and refurbished.
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