People, Travel

Ecolodge Plans Flop in N. Khorasan

Ecolodge Plans Flop in N. KhorasanEcolodge Plans Flop in N. Khorasan

In spite of North Khorasan Province’s massive potential for rural tourism, local villagers did not welcome a proposal by Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization to establish ecolodges in the countryside to boost tourism.

“Tourism has been earmarked as the second most important field of development in the province, but lack of lodging facilities hampers progress,” Mohammad Savidanloui, head of the provincial cultural heritage and tourism department, was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Pointing to the significant economic benefits of tourism, the official said North Khorasan cannot afford to miss an opportunity like this, in view of its potential.

“But building ecolodges is impossible without public participation and the cooperation of related entities. Eight villages were selected to pilot the plans in the province and an initial budget of 1 billion rials ($29,500) was set aside for the project, but there were no takers,” he said.

Savidanloui noted that the organization promoted the project but failed to encourage locals to take advantage of the government’s financial backing.

North Khorasan’s climate and abundance of natural attractions make it a prime destination for ecotourism. However, the province’s underdeveloped infrastructure, especially in terms of lodging, has made attraction of tourists difficult.