Iran has unveiled a national plan for boosting tourism and attracting foreign investment in regions alongside the Caspian Sea.
The plan is also aimed at increasing safety in the region, establishing coastal sport venues and creating new jobs, Azernews reported.
The first phase of the plan, including the launch of a shipping line to other Caspian Sea states, will be implemented in the next two months. The plan will create about 17,000 jobs.
From 2004 to 2010, the annual increase in tourists visiting foreign countries was 3.2 percent worldwide, according to the UN World Tourism Organization.
Iran’s figure over the same period shows tourism grew at a much faster rate, up to 12.7 percent, the Washington Post reported.
The number of foreign tourists in Iran reached three million last year and contributed more than $2 billion to the national economy, according to Iranian data.
Caspian Tourism Attractions
Caspian Sea, the largest landlocked lake in the world, is located in northern Iran. The Iranian Caspian coast, including those of the three littoral provinces of Gilan, Golestan and Mazandaran with their large forests and large-scale rice paddies, presents a striking contrast to the dry inner plateau of Iran.
Astara, Babol, Bandar Anzali, Chalous, Gorgan, Rasht and Sari are major cities situated alongside this lake. From the viewpoint of tourism, Caspian coast is a favorite vacation spot of Iranians and offers lush vegetations and sandy beaches.
The city in Mazandaran province founded in 16th century is located 20 km south of Caspian Sea.
Food, textiles and fruits such as oranges and lemons are produced in Babol. There are many rice farms around it, which provide a beautiful and charming view.
The most famous historical attractions of Babol are Mohammad Hassan Khan Bridge, Ganjineh-ye Babol and palace tower.
This port city, with its beautiful lagoon, is very close to Rasht city in Gilan province. It is the second largest city of Gilan and one of the most important seaports of northern Iran.
There are many tourist attractions in this city, including Clock Tower, Anzali Lagoon and Dehkadeh Saheli.
Bandar Anzali is known as the world capital of caviar. It has a caviar processing factory.
Visitors to Anzali can see old ruins from the 19th century as well as Tourbebar, which is a beautiful village 40 kilometers from Anzali.
This capital city of Golestan province is 400 km from Tehran.
Golestan National Park is located 150 km to the east of Gorgan.
The city has a great wall, which is the second longest defensive wall in the world after the Great Wall of China. It is known as the “Red Snake” among archeologists due to the color of its bricks.
Gorgan is the center of cotton, wheat and salt trading. It was the last outpost of traders and travelers to Central Asia.
Gorgan Gulf, Gomishan Wetland, Jame’ Mosque and Golshan Mosque are some of the attractions of Gorgan.
Since the mountains stop only a few hundred meters short of the coast at this point, the city is squeezed into little more than a couple of main streets, which has helped make it one of Iran’s more attractive seaside resorts.
Its rich vegetation includes palm and orange trees, as well as fields overflowing with flowers.
Ramsar is among the old cities of Mazandaran province. According to valid historical documents, its antiquity is estimated at more than ten centuries.
It stretches for many kilometers alongside the Caspian coast. It is unique in terms of natural scenery, particularly because of forested hills and proximity to the Caspian beach.
Wooded hills roll down close to the beach while the powerful outlines of Alborz Mountains create an impressive background.
The sightseeing places of this city include Ramsar thermal spring; Azarak, Rishboraz and Chardar waterfalls; luxuriant forests and mountainous valleys.
The capital of Gilan province is the largest city along the Caspian coast. It is situated 30 km from Caspian Sea and on the slopes of the northern Alborz mountain range.
In the past, Rasht was known as the “Gate of Europe” because of being a major transportation link that connected Iran to foreign countries.
Even today, Rasht is the most important trade hub that connects Russia, Caucasian states and Iran.
It is also an important center for processing agricultural products and famous for its woodworks.
Iran to Hold Foreign Handicraft Expos
Translated by Leila Imani
Iran will establish 12 permanent handicraft exhibitions and salerooms in various countries in the next three months, said the head of the Union of Handicraft Producers and Exporters.
Manouchehr Janati, who was in Madrid, Spain, to participate in the International Tourism Fair of Spain (Fitur), said the exhibitions will be set up by the union in cooperation with Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism organization, IRNA reported.
He noted that the exhibitions will be established in China, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Brazil and Venezuela, adding that a preliminary agreement has been reached with Spanish officials on setting up a permanent Iranian handicraft exhibition and salesroom in Madrid.
The works to be sold abroad will be provided by Iran in cooperation with Iranian expats and foreign companies.
Referring to the high potential of Iranian handicraft sector, Janati said more than 70 types of precious and semi-precious stones are produced in Iran.
He noted that proper marketing strategies for handicrafts will help gain cultural and economic benefits.
The official said a multi-purpose market named Stone Tower (Borj-e Sang), will be set up in Tehran to present handicrafts to domestic and foreign customers and offer training services.
“Plans have been drawn up to promote Iranian handicrafts in the foreign media,” he said.
Janant noted that $500 million worth of handicrafts were exported last year (ended March 19), adding that the figure is expected to hit $1 billion by the end of the current Iranian year.
13 Lorestan Heritages Up for Nat’l Registration
About 13 historical and cultural heritages of Lorestan province have been nominated for registration on the National Heritage List, said director general of the province’s cultural heritage, handicraft and tourism department.
Qasem Qorbani also referred to the Conference on Registration of Cultural Heritages in Tehran on the sidelines of Voice of Nomads Festival and said the department has nominated 12 historical and 1 cultural heritages, Mehr News Agency reported.
The official said Shohada (Martyrs) Square of Khorramabad is the cultural heritage nominated for registration on the National Heritage List.
He said so far 2,300 historical heritages of Lorestan province have been registered on the list, noting that Lorestan is among the top province of the country in this respect.
Earlier in January, Qasemi said the dossiers of monuments and bridges of Lorestan province have been prepared and submitted for registration on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
He said a number of cultural heritages of the province, including Falak-ol-Aflak Castle, bridges and historical caves, have been temporarily registered on the list.
Let flowers strut their stuff
In the garden sing and laugh
And call the spruce’s bluff
Let your stature rise and peak.
The rosebud’s smiling face
Whose attention will it grace
Whom do you wish to embrace
O rosebud, tender and meek?
In the marketplace today
Your buyers willingly pay
Be alert and stash away
Riches in your lucky streak.
The candle flame of goodness
The wind of fate will caress
Commit and your art bless
With goodness shine and reek.
Each curl of your hair
Is priceless and so rare
Seek joy and joy spare
And gently take a peek.
In the garden of the king
Birds use their feather and beak
Nightingales gaily sing
Hafez, the poetic geek.
Pumpkin, 700 grams (peeled and cut into 2-cm pieces)
Olive oil, 5 tablespoons
Leek, 2 large (pale section only)
Garlic, 2 cloves (crushed)
Spinach leaves, 100 grams
Eggs, 4 yolks and 2 whites
Skim milk, 1/4 cup
Fresh low-fat cheese, 1/3 cup (about 80 grams)
Basil leaves, 1/3 cup
Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a large baking tray with a non-stick baking paper. Place the pumpkin on the lined tray and to make oily with two tablespoons of olive oil. Season with pepper. Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until golden.
Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add three tablespoons of olive oil. Add thinly sliced leek and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes or until soft.
Add garlic and cook, stirring, for one minute or until soft. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, for three minutes or until the spinach wilts.
Line a 26 x 16-cm (base measurement) slab pan with non-stick baking paper. Spread the pumpkin and leek mixture evenly over the base of the pan.
Whisk together the eggs, egg whites and milk in a bowl. Pour egg mixture evenly over pumpkin and leek mixture.
Sprinkle cheese evenly. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden. Sprinkle with the basil. Serve with mixed salad leaves, if desired.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
Pumpkins owe their bright orange color to the high amount of carotenoids present in them. Carotenoids assist in staving off the free radicals in the body and help prevent premature aging, cardiovascular diseases and other infections.
They are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the eyes against free radical damage and prevent formation of cataracts and degeneration of eye tissues.
Protein: Pumpkin seeds also known as pepitas are a rich source of protein; 500 grams of pumpkin seeds contain approximately 7 grams of protein. Their oil is high in phytosterols or plant-based fatty acids and their chemical composition is the same as cholesterol. Phytosterols can replace cholesterol in the body and help reduce blood cholesterol levels.
Essential Fatty Acids: Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of essential fatty acids, which have numerous health benefits. From providing protection against serious health diseases such as high blood pressure, arthritis and cancer to promoting healthy skin and improving brain power, essential fatty acids present in pumpkin oil offer several health benefits.
Vitamin A: Pumpkin is a rich source of vitamin A. Regular consumption of pumpkin (both seeds and flesh) can promote the health of your eyes and boost your immune system remarkably.
House of Nomads
The House of Nomads will be established in Iran with the aim of generating income for them. Two percent of Iranian handicraft exports are produced by nomads.