People, Travel

Yazd Ecolodges a Big Hit

Yazd Ecolodges a Big Hit
Yazd Ecolodges a Big Hit

Traditional ecolodges in Yazd Province proved to be popular during the Norouz (Iranian New Year) holidays (March 20 – April 2), a senior provincial official said.

“Surveys (of guests) show that they were very happy with the reception and service quality,” Mohammad Yarmand, director of the Rural and Councils Affairs Office at Yazd Governorate, was quoted as saying by ISNA.

He said programs designed by the authorities and implemented with the help of the locals help promote tourism in rural Yazd during the holidays.

Yarmand noted that small festivals and poetry reading soirees were organized, and temporary markets were set up.

“Efforts were doubled to keep villages clean and pristine,” he said..

Yazd, a desert province in central Iran, is a popular destination among ecotourists and those enchanted by the desert ambience. It has over 50 ecolodges, most of which are located in rural areas. The province is considered by many to be a pioneer among Iranian ecolodges.

“In the past three years, there have been over 200 requests to set up ecolodges,” he said, adding that 130 have been granted permits.

Yarmand noted that the government offers loans of up to a billion rials ($266,000) at 8% interest to people who intend to start a business in an industry known for its job creation potential, such as the hospitality sector.

Reportedly, people in 20 villages in Yazd have already received loans.

Ecolodges are local accommodations built in the heart of nature and designed to have the least possible impact on the natural environment in which it is situated. Ecolodges abide by the principles of sustainable development, a concept that has received a great deal of attention by major organizations, including the United Nations.

The number of ecolodges throughout the country has increased tenfold since 2013. There are 320 ecolodges operating at various capacities while only 30 existed in 2013.

In 2015, Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization updated ecotourism regulations to promote the sector.

The government plans to increase the number of eco-lodges in Iran to 2,000 by the end of the sixth five-year economic development plan (2017-22). The lodging facilities will be located in 500 villages across the country.  


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