TEHRAN (Iran News) – A total of 656 rural tourism development projects have been funded over the past four years.
Some 540 billion rials (about $13 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) have been allocated to the projects, IRNA reported.
Development projects implemented over the past three years have created more than 262,000 job opportunities in rural areas, Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari said in March.
Since February 2018, some 130 trillion rials (about $3 billion) have been invested in 142,000 job creation plans in villages across the country, he explained.
The administration is making efforts to pay more attention to economic development in villages in order to pave the way for increasing rural population and help reverse the current trend of migration from villages to cities, he added.
Many efforts have been made over the past couple of years by the government to support villagers and slow down the trend of migration from rural areas to cities.
Rural tourism, agritourism, religious tourism, and ecotourism are alternatives or complementary economic activities that could further stimulate rural development while decreasing rural community dependency on one main economic sector (agriculture, forestry, energy, or mining).
Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan said in January that developing nature tourism in the country needs to be considered more seriously.
As nature tourism is one of the key potentials of the country’s tourism industry, establishing tourist camps and complexes seems necessary and the ministry’s focus should be on nature-related projects, the minister said.