Rural Destinations

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Tourism has always been considered a fruitful industry all over the world. Rural tourism is no exception to this fact and can have a lot of positive impacts on development of rural economy and community. In general, rural tourism is defined as “any form of tourism that showcases the rural life, art, culture, and heritage at rural locations, thereby benefiting the local community economically and socially as well as enabling interaction between the tourists and the locals for a more enriching tourism experience” (Aref, 2009). This development is highly dependent on endeavors to preserve rural heritage, culture, biodiversity, and natural sceneries in rural areas. Rural tourism and ecotourism can flourish in Iran because of its potentials. These potentials include virgin nature, beautiful sceneries, an ancient heritage, an abundance of leisure centers, and proximity to unique urban centers.  Iran is rich with regard to rural tourism as a result of its rural attractions, rural infrastructure, and ease of access by its good roads and transportation. “Iran has more than 60000 rural settlements … distributed across the country” (Mahdavi, 2013, p. 1076). This number implies the extensive diversity of architecture, culture, customs, costumes, ways of life, etc. Hence, rural, nomadic, and agricultural tours are offered that concentrate on Iranian villages which are outside big cities. For example, tourists are invited to sleep beneath tents in a nomadic tribe or observe local people making handicrafts and agricultural products. Rural tour packages often include 15-23 day trips during the Nowrouz period, spring, summer, and other public holidays. Major rural destinations are in Tehran, Shiraz, and Isfahan. These rural destinations are full of the richest, oldest, and most diverse handicraft traditions in the world. Skills have been transmitted by different generations, making Iranians world famous for their ceramics, glass, wood, carpets, tapestries, and many other precious objects.



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