People, Environment

Unfinished Projects Piling Up in Qazvin

Unfinished Projects Piling Up in QazvinUnfinished Projects Piling Up in Qazvin

The list of Qazvin Province’s unfinished tourism-related projects keep growing as more and more banks refuse loans to investors to help bring the projects to completion.

According to the head of the provincial office of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, at least 30 projects in Qazvin are waiting for funds to finish and become operational.

Speaking at a meeting of Qazvin Banks’ Coordination Council, Muhammad Ali Hazrati said 250 billion rials ($7.2 million) are required to complete the projects, several of which are already 90% complete and will be completed soon after the money is available.

“It is indeed regrettable that tourism has been neglected in recent years. Banks have choked off lending and are not convinced that investing in tourism is worthwhile,” Hazrati was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Many banks simply do not see economic justification in tourism programs while “investment in this sector has the smallest risk (compared to other industries).”

There are currently 217 tourism businesses in the province, which employ 1,760 people.

Similar to every other region in the country, Qazvin suffers from a lack of quality lodging facilities, a problem Hazrati believes the banks are well-placed to help address.

“By providing 250 billion to 300 billion rials ($7.2 million to $8.7 million), the banks can help complete 12 important projects (such as upscale hotels) in the province,” he said.

Located 150 kilometers northwest of Tehran, Qazvin was once the capital of Iran during the reign of the Safavid dynasty (1502 – 1736). The province boasts numerous historical sites and museums including the Qajar Bathhouse, Chehel Sotoun Pavilion (not to be confused with the World Heritage Site by the same name in Isfahan), and Sepah Street, which is believed to be the first-ever street in the country, built sometime in the mid-16th century by the Safavid King Tahmasp I.