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Iranian Nomads Prepare to Attract Foreign Tourists

The establishment of the Department of Tourism Development in Nomadic Regions has enabled nomads of Iran to attract foreign tourists to their land.

Tehran, 9 January 2006 (CHN) -- Based on a memorandum of understanding between the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Iran and Nomads' Issues Organization, from now on Nomadic Cooperative Association will take some measures for tourism development in this area by attracting foreign tourists to nomadic regions of Iran.

Up until half a century ago, Persian society used to be a nomadic one. "Nomads constitute a cultural treasure, not a simple community, because the Iranian society can trace back its roots among them and still feed on their agricultural products," said Dr. Jalaludin Rafifar, nomad expert and head of Iran's Anthropology Association.

"Following the issue of nomadic settlement and performing of the Fourth Development Program, Tourism Development Department in Nomadic Regions was established to provide economical development for the nomads by carrying out technical and infrastructure studies," said Afshin Sadr Dadras, director of Tourism Development Department in Nomadic Regions.

Categorization of different regions, studying the potentials, and determining the executive approaches for attracting tourists are among the top agendas of this.

According to Dadras, alongside Tourism Development Department in Nomadic Regions, which is in charge of providing domestic facilities and preparing sufficient services and encouraging the participation of nomads in attracting tourists, Nomadic Tourism Institute should undertake measures in marketing, advertising, and attracting foreign tourists.

"This institute will fulfill its role alongside the Tourism Development Department to attract foreign tourists to Iran and to launch nomadic tours by attending the international exhibitions and providing posters, catalogues, pictures and other advertising instruments," explained Dadras about the marketing policies for nomadic tourism.

There is a hope that performing appropriate programs to establish nomadic tours and attracting foreign tourist to these regions would eventually lead to an increase in the income of these tribes which would itself result in promotion of their standards of living without causing any harm to their social and traditional lifestyles.

Nomadic products including various handicrafts such as the wool woven carpets as well as traditional breads, cookies, and dairies, alongside the natural attractions of nomadic settlements and the stunning path of their seasonal migrations may be used to attract tourists to these regions and to promote nomadic lifestyle.

A special center will be established in Tehran to provide and sell the products of nomadic tribes of the country.

Iran is a diverse country with a variety of ethnic groups and nomadic tribes living together. These groups have maintained the traditional lifestyles of their ancestors over the centuries. Evidence of the existence of nomads and their influence on even the urban life in different parts of the country may still be traced in Iran. There are still different nomadic tribes in Iran including the Qashquaii in the southwest, the Bakhtiari in central Iran and the Kurdish Zaferanlou in the northeast. The Bakhtiari tribe, with a population of over 80,000, is settled in an approximately 67,000 square kilometer area in the central Zagros Mountains, and is considered the biggest nomadic tribe of the country. However, only about a third of the tribe is nomadic and the rest are settled in agricultural lands.

Most of these nomadic tribes are deprived of the simplest essentials of life due to the poor economic conditions of their society. Thus establishment of such institute is a major step toward the betterment of those conditions.

... Payvand News - 1/11/06 ... --

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