JICA Commences Projects on Tourism Cooperation

JICA Commences Projects on Tourism Cooperation
JICA Commences Projects on Tourism Cooperation

Japan International Cooperation Agency has conducted preliminary studies on tourism development projects in Iran.

During a meeting with Iranian heritage authorities early this week, Yukiharu Kobayashi, the head of JICA's office in Iran, elaborated on studies focused on the broader objective of creating jobs through tourism projects and protecting heritage sites, CHTN reported.

"The nature of tourism is interlinked with sustainable development and productivity," he said.

Feasibility studies in the first phase resulted in the selection of six cities with high potentials for tourism development, namely Tabriz, Isfahan, Shiraz, Ahvaz, Yazd and Tehran.

"In the second phase, Tabriz was selected to serve as a pilot for the implementation of the projects," Kobayashi said.

According to the official, the projects currently underway include empowering locals in producing handicrafts, establishing an artwork market on Qeshm Island, increasing boat tours and training sailors on how to introduce the marine sites to tourists.

Some of the other proposed projects include the construction of a workshop and a museum on boat building, an age-old profession in Gouran Village on Qeshm Island, which could help turn the area into a tourism attraction.

Based on the agreement with Iran, JICA is to provide Iranian tourism authorities with Japan's experience and knowledge in the field and introduce tourism plans that not only help the industry in general, but also allows official entities to share the generated revenue with the local people, something that is not happening right now.

Kobayashi noted that the agency would tap into Iran's hidden potentials by suggesting plans and help implement them in cooperation with Iranian officials.  

Mohammad Moheb-Khodaei, cultural deputy at Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, expressed willingness for undertaking joint development projects with Japan in order to promote the tourism industry and enhance the livelihood of local communities.  

As Iran desires Japanese know-how, JICA has agreed to proactively carry out technical cooperation projects in the fields of earthquake risk reduction, environmental conservation, water resource management and clean energy.

"The agency will also move forward with cooperation in areas, such as job creation, infrastructure improvement and healthcare," Kobayashi concluded.

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