People, Travel

Spanish Firm Joins Hands to Repurpose Heritage Sites in Iran

Spanish Firm Joins Hands to Repurpose Heritage Sites
Spanish Firm Joins Hands to Repurpose Heritage Sites

Iran has signed a memorandum of understanding with a Spanish hotel firm to restore historical structures in Iran and repurpose them into lodging facilities.

The agreement was signed by Iran's Revitalization and Utilization Fund for Historical Places (also known as Sabta) and Paradores, a Spanish company, and involves transfer of know-how for the restoration of historical buildings, the fund's official website reported.

The two sides have also agreed to encourage travel between Iran and Spain. Organizing workshops, conducting inspections and consulting over restoration projects are other measures outlined in the MoU.

Paradores de Turismo de Espana will only provide its expertise in renovating and repurposing historical sites, and will not be investing. The Spanish firm manages a chain of luxury hotels that are located in castles, palaces, fortresses, convents, monasteries and other historical buildings.

A parador in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries is a kind of luxury hotel usually located in a converted historical building.

To restore ancient buildings and make them profitable, Sabta has initiated a plan to cede historical buildings to the private sector as long as they are repurposed into hotels, restaurants or lodging places. The target is to cede about 100 buildings to the private sector for restoration every year, which means a total of 1,084 buildings will be ready for use by the end of the 2025 Vision Plan.

Iran, a historical country, is home to a large number of old mansions and buildings, which can contribute to the country's nascent tourism industry if managed appropriately and restored carefully. Italian and Swedish investors have recently expressed their readiness to fund the restoration and repurposing of historical houses in Kerman, Kashan and Isfahan.

Officials hope to compensate for Iran's woefully underdeveloped hotel sector by increasing the sector's capacity to host tourists by restoring old mansions and turning them into traditional-style lodging facilities.

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