People, Travel

3 Marine Tourism Projects Ready in Khuzestan

3 Marine Tourism Projects Ready in Khuzestan
3 Marine Tourism Projects Ready in Khuzestan

Three marine tourism schemes along the banks of Karoun River in Khuzestan Province are complete and will open to the public next week, a senior official at Karun Development Organization has announced.

According to MANA News Agency, the projects provide wharfs for boat tours throughout the 725-kilometer-long river, which is Iran’s most effluent and only navigable river.

Karoun is sourced in Zardkouh Mountains of the Bakhtiari District in the Zagros Mountain Range and is fed by numerous rivers, such as the Dez and Kouhrang, before passing through the capital of the Khuzestan, Ahvaz.

The plans have all been approved by the provincial office of the Department of Environment.

The projects’ design and implementation started two years ago with an allocated budget of 300 billion rials (approximately $8.5 million). The projects were slated to become operational in April, but the opening date was pushed back due to a lack of funds.

Mehdi Madari, the head of Karoun Development Organization, announced that the projects would be inaugurated during Government Week (August 23-29) and “their management will be immediately ceded to the private sector”.

There is another unfinished marine tourism plan, which will be ready in early 2017.

The oil-rich Khuzestan Province boasts three world heritage sites, namely Choghazanbil (inscribed in 1979), Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System (2009) and Susa (2015).

Despite the province’s location in Iran’s arid southwestern region, Khuzestan’s northern regions are known for lush landscapes and natural attractions, including Temi Lake and Shevi Waterfall.

However, local tour operators complain that the hype over Khuzestan’s battle with dust storms and its value as a refining center has completely overshadowed its tourism potential.