A lthough Yazd‘s selection as a pilot tourism city has been welcomed by tourism officials, Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization has not yet devised practical guidelines to implement the plan. Mohammad Reza Nassiri, tourism deputy at the provincial ICHHTO office, told ISNA that the general guidelines of the plan are clear, but detailed objectives must be prepared by the central office in Tehran.
“Certain plans and measures were orally discussed in a meeting with the ICHHTO chief, Ali Asghar Mounesan, during his recent trip to the city but specific goals have not been officially communicated yet,” he said.
Yazd authorities, however, have taken the initiative to prepare the city for the scheme and have so far developed a tourist-friendly transport system.
“Tourist taxis have been operating since the beginning of this year. There are currently 40 such taxis labeled YTT (Yazd Tourist Taxi) with trained drivers who speak English and have passed the required tests,” the official said.
Tourism city is a notion proposed by the new ICHHTO management. Following its inscription as UNIESCO’s World Heritage Site, Yazd was proposed for the pilot plan.
“Yazd has high tourism potentials. In the first six months of the current Iranian year (started March 21) alone, the number of foreign tourists visiting the province reached 50,000 and showed an 11% increase compared with the same period of last year,” Nassiri said.
According to the concept of tourism city, urban planning must take into account the needs of tourists as well as residents.