TEHRAN – Chabahar will be hosting a major tourism festival in November. The ten-day event is intended to turn the spotlight on coastal provinces of Iran.
The event will be attended by exhibitors and natives from the provinces of Mazandaran, Khuzestan, Bushehr, Hormozgan, Sistan-Balushestan, and Golestan, Mehr reported on Sunday.
The port city of Chabahar, which is located in the southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province, welcomed 3,200 foreign nationals during the first nine months of the past Iranian calendar year (ended in March 2019).
“In addition, as we want to have exhibitors from other parts of the country, we also invited exhibitors from the provinces of Yazd, Kerman and South Khorasan, which have close proximity to Sistan-Baluchestan,” Sistan-Baluchestan provincial tourism chief Alireza Jalalzaei said.
“Each night, [there will be special programs in which] one of the said provinces will promote its capacities, including customs, culture, traditions, travel destinations, handicrafts and cultural heritage,” the official explained.
For decades, Sistan-Baluchestan used to be shunned by potential foreign travelers though it is home to several distinctive archaeological sites and natural attractions, including two UNESCO World Heritage sites of Shahr-e-Soukhteh (Burnt City) and Lut Desert, shared with Kerman Province.
For mainstream Iranians, the name of Sistan-Baluchestan conjures up stories of drought, desiccated wetlands and dust storms. In the international scale foreigners may consider it a reminiscent of the big red blot on the Iran safety map.