September 24, 2023

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Ecotourism is a reliable way to reduce poverty in Iran, diplomat says

YANGLING, China – Ali Nemati, Minister Counsellor of the Iranian Embassy in China said, Ecotourism is a reliable way to reduce poverty in Iran.

Speaking on the second day of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Forum on Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development in Yangling, Shaanxi province of China, Nemati described the geographical location of Iran, the weather, and the tourism potential of the country and then said: Iran, in terms of international security indicators and according to the World Travel Risk map, is as safe as countries such as Britain, Sweden, Canada, and Denmark.

“Iran has been recognized as the most affordable foreign tourist destination by Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report. Iran offers the highest gains at the lowest costs, making it an attractive option for travelers seeking unique experiences without breaking the bank,” Tehran Times reported Nemati said.

In another part of his speech, the Minister Counsellor of the Iranian Embassy to China mentioned history, culture, architecture and geographical diversity, exquisite handicrafts, nature, and biodiversity and explained the significance of ecotourism in poverty reduction. In this regard, he said: Ecotourism serves as a platform for urban dwellers to witness the destructive effects of industrialization, raising awareness about the importance of protecting the environment. It provides an opportunity for individuals to temporarily escape pollution, stress, and daily pressures, allowing them to reconnect with nature.

Ecotourism plays a crucial role in distributing tourists during peak seasons, ensuring a more balanced flow and reducing strain on popular destinations. It fosters cultural exchange between ethnic groups, strengthening solidarity and mutual understanding among communities. It increases cultural exchange and helps to strengthen solidarity and mutual understanding, Ali Nemati added.

According to the minister counselor, Ecotourism creates employment opportunities, increases production and income, and strengthens local identity. By promoting services and adopting an environmental approach, ecotourism enhances societal attitudes and awareness towards rural villages, improving infrastructural and architectural factors. It also addresses sociocultural issues, promoting a holistic development approach.

“To harness the potential of ecotourism we must focus on improving the attractions and service quality of rural tourism through targeted planning and training. Additionally, it is essential to empower local communities through skills training, restore historical monuments, and facilitate the flow of tourists to rural areas,” he said, adding, “To ensure the success of ecotourism initiatives, we must also develop the necessary infrastructure, including transportation networks and accommodation facilities. Diversification of tourism products, such as ecotourism, agricultural tourism, and creative tourism, will cater to a broader range of interests and attract a diverse set of visitors.”

He went on to explain Iran’s policies for the development and promotion of ecotourism and said: We are proud to report a significant growth in ecotourism in Iran. The number of tourists visiting eco-lodges has steadily increased, and that with it has brought an increase in the number of eco-lodges, contributing to economic development and poverty reduction. Our ongoing efforts aim to further promote and expand ecotourism opportunities across the country.

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