People, Travel

Yazd to Go Into High Gear

Yazd to Go Into High GearYazd to Go Into High Gear

A five-year tourism scheme devised by the office of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization in Yazd Province will go into effect from the beginning of the next fiscal year (March 20, 2016).

Speaking at a meeting to discuss the details of the plan, Mohammad Mehdi Sherafat, director of the provincial office of ICHHTO, referred to the new Iranian year as the year Yazd will move to a higher pedestal in the tourism industry, ISNA reported.

“As the world’s largest inhabited adobe city, Yazd offers tourists a unique and dissimilar experience,” he said, adding that the project can help promote the historical city as the “Iranian capital of architecture”.

Inscribing Yazd on the UNESCO World Heritage List and launching a national adobe architecture center are two main objectives.

Other goals include the inscription of windcatchers and qanats on the coveted list.

The scheme also addresses health tourism and ecotourism — in particular desert trekking — and aims to reestablish Yazd as the country’s textile hub.

“Upgrading tourism services and developing infrastructure are also covered in the scheme,” Sherafat said.

Hosting festivals and architecture competitions, attracting investment in tourism and handicraft sectors, building four- and five-star hotels and renovating existing lodging/boarding facilities are imperative to ensuring Yazd meets its tourism potential.  

Authorities plan to set up special health tourism zones.

“We want to bridge ancient medicine and modern science in these zones, by providing traditional medicine in high-tech facilities,” he said.

Revival of lost art forms, namely traditional fabric weaving, is another goal of the plan.

Yazd is slated to host the country’s first textile museum in the near future.

“Offering high quality services and preparing package tours are other measures are covered in the plan,” Sherafat said.

In October, experts from the France-based International Center for Earthen Architecture, CRAterre, traveled to Yazd to help officials compile the dossiers for the city’s inscription on the World Heritage List and help monitor and preserve the city’s historical texture.

With a historical texture covering 2,270 hectares, Yazd is thought to be one of – if not the first - adobe city in the world.

Yazd’s candidacy for world heritage status is expected to be reviewed during the 40th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Istanbul, Turkey (July 10-20, 2016).