People, Travel

Tourists Urged to Visit Alternative Destinations

Tourists Urged to Visit Alternative DestinationsTourists Urged to Visit Alternative Destinations

The Iranian New Year— or Norouz — holiday (March 20 - April 2) is a great opportunity for people to travel, but the problem is they choose to visit a limited number of places every year, particularly in northern Iran.

Esmaeil Khani, a tourism expert, believes that to have a peaceful and enjoyable vacation, one must avoid conventional destinations in favor of lesser known cities.  

“People waste hours on the congested roads to the north to spend some time in the forests or on beaches that are already packed with holidaymakers,” he told Mehr News Agency, adding that the influx of tourists on selected destinations leaves the locals to deal with the mountain of rubbish once the vacationers are gone.

“If tourists are spread across the country, it will cause less damage to nature and the people are more likely to enjoy their holiday,” Khani added.

He named Ilam, Kurdestan, Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari, Sistan-Baluchestan and Semnan as alternative destinations, which receive a small share of domestic tourism. Travelers can benefit from uncongested highways and roads leading to those regions and stay in quiet holiday resorts while contributing to the local economy.

Khani blamed the country’s incongruous tourism behavior on the Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, adding that the ICHHTO has no program to promote lesser known destination, “even though their primary task is to spread travel across the country throughout the year.”

He criticized the organization for their oversight and said, “Instead of publishing a list of alternative holiday destinations, as they had promised, the officials have focused on facilitating travel to northern cities,” essentially exacerbating the problem.