TEHRAN – An agritourism farm has recently opened its doors to sightseers and nature lovers in Baneh, the western province of Kordestan.
The inauguration ceremony was followed by a daylong tour, allowing tourists to experience the rural lifestyle, Baneh’s tourism chief on Saturday.
Rose flower harvesting and traditional rosewater distillation, commonly known as “Golab-giri”, were among the rituals, the tourists went through, Sadollah Rahimikhah explained.
Apart from being fun, such tours present agricultural products scientifically and practically and familiarize tourists with the methods for growing, picking, and maintaining these products, the official added.
Such tours are expected to support the development and promotion of the region’s agricultural products as well as the growth and prosperity of the tourism industry, he noted.
Agritourism and nature-tourism enterprises might include outdoor recreation (fishing, hunting, wildlife study, horseback riding), educational experiences (cannery tours, cooking classes, or tea or coffee tasting), entertainment (harvest festivals or barn dances), hospitality services ( farm stays, guided tours, or outfitter services), and on-farm direct sales (u-pick operations or roadside stands).
It is a relatively new branch of the travel industry in which tourists stay with local people in rural areas. Farm/ranch recreation refers to activities conducted on private agricultural lands, which might include fee-hunting and fishing, overnight stays, educational activities, etc.
Experts believe that in addition to the customer services jobs, agritourism pays special attention to the production sector, saying agricultural tourism is much more important and practical than other branches of tourism because it creates a new chain and diversity in the field of production and services.
Agritourism is a subset of a larger industry called rural tourism that includes resorts, off-site farmers’ markets, non-profit agricultural tours, and other leisure and hospitality businesses that attract visitors to the countryside.
One of the border cities between Iran and Iraq, Baneh is located in the western province of Kordestan. The city is located 20 kilometers from the Iranian-Iraqi border, 60 kilometers southwest of Saqez, and 70 kilometers southeast of Sardasht. The city is known for its large and natural oak forests.
In 1984, Iraqi planes bombed Baneh and some nearby settlements during the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988). Dul Arzan village, Shevi cave, Baneh Dam, Sorin complex are among the city’s tourist attractions, however, most of its reputation comes from its border malls and its status as a trade center. Local people speak Kurdish with Slemani accent.