People, Travel

Plan to Develop Makran Tourism Shifts Into Gear

The plan is to build seven holiday resorts along Makran coast.The plan is to build seven holiday resorts along Makran coast.

The initial phase of a plan to establish seven holiday resorts along Makran coastal strip in southeastern Iran shifts into gear, according to a tourism official at Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.

Speaking to ISNA, Abdolreza Mohajerinejad, the head of Tourism Development and Planning Office at ICHHTO, said developers are scouting for the ideal location to set up the resorts.

"Investment from the private entities is essential to ensuring the plan is carried out efficiently and completed on time," he added.

The scheme is part of a comprehensive tourism development plan planned in the sixth five-year development plan (2016-21) to boost the industry in the area, which has been earmarked as a prime location for development due its access to international waters via the Sea of Oman.

Iran intends to turn Makran into a commercial and tourism hub in the region, but underdeveloped infrastructure has been singled out as the main shortcoming in the area.

Kambiz Gogari, the head of Sistan-Baluchestan Province's office of ICHHTO, said developing "marine tourism requires a collective effort; it cannot be done alone". 

To this end, the provincial ICHHTO has been working closely with Chabahar Free Zone Organization and Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization. 

"(Our commitment) to this joint effort heralds a bright future for tourism in Makran,” Gohari said. 

Despite the fact that turning coastal cities into marine tourism hubs has been a priority of past administrations, the sector is only responsible for 1% of national employment and production, which is negligible compared to the industry's massive capacities.

However, statistics published by the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development show that the number of marine tourists has been rising in the past few years. Over 7.2 million travelers used the country’s ports in the first four months of the current Iranian year (started March 20, 2016), which shows a 1.6% increase compared with the same period of last year.

Makran is a semi-desert coastal strip stretching along southeastern Iran to Pakistan’s Balochistan and borders the coasts of Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman.

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