TEHRAN – Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has selected the Iranian city of Tabriz to undertake its new round of cultural heritage and tourism studies on the ancient Silk Road.
JICA selected Tabriz, the capital of northwestern East Azarbaijan province, as a research project on the Silk Road axis following its assessment of various historic corridors across the country, CHTN reported on Thursday.
UNESCO-registered properties, brand names and vast tourism potentials will be subjected to the studies aiming to develop economy and livelihoods of the locals, Farshad Rostami, an East Azarbaijan province’s tourism official, was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Representatives of JICA and East Azarbaijan’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department scrutinized modalities of the project during a follow-up meeting held in Tabriz on Thursday.
Tabriz has long been a gateway to Europe and East Asia since antiquity, said Akira Uhara, JICA senior expert for national heritage and tourism, in an address to the meeting.
Uhara referred to considerable ecotourism and health tourism capacities, touristic villages like Kandovan, prominent brands such as Tabriz carpets as contributors to the choice.
He also attached great importance to the city’s potential for a tourism boost due to encircling historical and cultural attractions as well as UNESCO-registered sites.
Speaking to the Tehran Times on Friday, a source affiliated to JICA Iran Office said that the agency was initially intended to select Yazd in central Iran, as subject of the project.
Tabriz was named the capital of Islamic tourism for 2018 by the vote of the inter-governmental Organization of Islamic Cooperation in 2015.
PHOTO: A view of Elgoli Park in Tabriz. Its fairground surrounds an artificial lake, in the middle of which stands tall a photogenic palace dating from the Qajar era.