People, Travel

Mashhad Ideal for Tourism Investment

Mashhad Ideal for Tourism InvestmentMashhad Ideal for Tourism Investment

Mashhad’s 25 million annual visitors make the northeastern metropolis an ideal location for investment in tourism, according to an academic.

Hamed Bakhshi, a researcher at University Jihad Tourism Research Center, said development of tourism infrastructure encourages tourists and pilgrims to stay longer in Mashhad, which is home to the mausoleum of Imam Reza (PBUH), ISNA reported.

“Studies show that launching water parks in the city has helped increase the average stay period by one night,” the academic said, adding that the younger generation tends to seek other leisure activities besides pilgrimage.

Natural landscapes in Torqabeh and Shandiz, Mashhad’s renowned cuisine and the construction of more recreational centers such as water parks, shopping malls and science parks have all contributed to increasing the period of stay of visitors in the holy city.

Bakhshi said natural and historical sites, local customs, shrines and the like are not tourist attractions by themselves, but the material that must be worked on to become attractions.

“Mashhad’s already buoyant tourism sector can be further boosted by developing its capacities,” he said.  

Bakhshi stressed that more research is needed on investment opportunities that can help attract investors and boost the local economy.

Boasting the most four- and five-star hotels in the country, Mashhad can house 50,000 people on a regular basis. During high seasons, the capacity can reach 75,000.

Three years ago, the city had only 75 hotels, but now there are 200 hotels at various stages of construction, which is expected to meet the target mentioned in the 2025 Vision Plan, based on which the holy city is expected to annually host 40 million pilgrims and tourists from Iran and abroad.