People, Travel

Isfahan Municipality Helping Infrastructure Development

Isfahan Municipality Helping Infrastructure DevelopmentIsfahan Municipality Helping Infrastructure Development

Development of tourism infrastructure is on the agenda of the Isfahan Municipality, according to the mayor.  

Claiming that 80% of construction projects in some way will help develop Isfahan’s tourism infrastructure, Mehdi Jalaminejad told the media on Thursday that the city’s reputation as one of Iran’s top destinations means that every relevant body should do its part to ensure the projects bear results, Mehr News Agency reported.

“The majority of our projects aim to address environmental issues and infrastructure flaws,” he said.

The mayor pointed to the construction of the Isfahan International Conference Center and the development of the city’s subway as examples of tourism-related projects.

He was quick to add that the municipality is not looking to shoulder all the responsibility that comes with or is related to tourism development.

“We’re trying to create the conditions for private sector investment,” Jamalinejad said echoing recent calls from several experts to assign the fast emerging tourism industry to private enterprise.

Surprisingly, he did not broach the subject of lodging and accommodation, which is arguably the city’s main shortcoming.

Last year, 250,000 foreigners visited Isfahan, while the province’s top hotels hardly have a total of 600 rooms.

“Isfahan’s tourism industry has hit a wall due to lack of accommodation,” Ebrahim Pourfaraj, chairman of Iran Tourism Operators’ Association, said earlier this year. “The opportunity to build hotels is slipping away.”

In August, Pourfaraj said the city’s four- and five-star hotels were “fully booked until March 2016”, a claim denied by Isfahan Hotel Owners’ Association.

Along with Tabriz, Isfahan was granted the title of “World Crafts City” by the World Crafts Council in September, becoming the only Iranian cities to have the honor.

In December, Isfahan and Rasht joined the Creative Cities Network, a UNESCO initiative established in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

The historical city boasts two world heritage sites in Naqsh-e Jahan Square and the Jame’ Mosque.

It is to host the 1st International Tourism Brand Conference on Sunday at the Isfahan Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture on January 3-4.