Adventure tourism which for many is a sub-category of sports tourism is of interest to young people. Knowledge of the adventure tourism market in a region increases its attraction. Of course for making a region an adventure tourism hub, it is necessary to have a plan for the development and marketing of various products.
As regards the importance of adventure tourism, it should be noted that it is a sub-category of sports tourism and simply for the popularity of sports, this type of tourism is also popular. At present, 6 out of 10 TV programs in America, Europe, and Australia, are sports programs and this popularity is on the increase. Definitely an adventure tourist would travel with friends and family members and this would increase the number of customers, too. The nature and climate of Iran creates a unique opportunity for adventure tourism in the country. These types of tourists like to risk and have hazardous experiences and interestingly the demand for such tours is rapidly growing both in Iran and in the world. This branch of tourism which is virtually unknown in Iran has dozens of sub-branches which considering the natural conditions of the country could be developed. This report aims to introduce this potential.
mountain climbing, cave climbing, Rock climbing and Ice climbing:
The high peaks in Iran especially the central Zagros Mountains are among the top 100 high peaks of the world. Mount Damavand, too, is the highest peak of the western hemisphere. There is no high mountain in either the continents of Africa, North and South America or Europe to have the height comparable to Damavand. In central Zagros, too, there are peaks as high as 4000 meters with unique natural conditions that make them suitable for mountain climbing.
Sahand and Sabalan volcanic peaks with lakes, the high peaks of central Alborz with their rich nature and natural variety, Mount Alam kouh in Alamoot with 3 glaciers, Shirkooh peak in Yazd and Taftan in Sistan-Balouchestan overlooking a vast desert are among the mountain climbing attractions in Iran.
There are also round 100 large cares in Iran which have the potential for tourism investment. Some of these cares such as Ali-sadr (the largest water cave of the world) and Katale khor are globally known. There are more caves with unknown ends in Lorestan, Chaharmahal-Bakhtiary and Kohgiloyeh-Boyerahmad, too. It should be noted that a very large and attractive cave in any natural landscape would enhance the tourism attraction of that region at the international level.
Additionally in this type of tourism, it is possible to combine two or more tourist attractions of Iran. For
Instance, those interested in touring the Qoori-Qal’e cave, can also include visiting historical attractions in their program, too, or for mountain climbers climbing Shirkooh (known as Iranian Kilimanjaro), it is also possible to visit the unique architecture of Yazd. Moreover, mountain climbing in Sabalan (Ardebil) and central Zagros can also be combined with visiting the nomads’ life and using the hot spring of the region.
skiing, snowboarding, snow climbing and snow games:
Even though Iran is located in a hot and dry region, yet there are ski pistes throughout Zagros and a large area of Alborz Mountain, constructed on the basis of climate standards for snow games of all kinds. The regions of central Zagros, high Fars, Kohgiloyeh-Boyerahmad and Chaharmahal-Bakhtiary which are over 2000 meters high and have the durability of snow season for more than 8 months, create the most optimal condition for the development of winter sports. The richness of the natural environment, beautiful geographical landscapes and ethnological attractions of the region make it as one of the potentially most ideal natural areas of the world for the development of winter sports.
It is worth mentioning that in case of the development of ski resorts and suitable accommodation in the region, this tourist resort would definitely be the lowest winter sports region in terms of the latitude of the earth. Notwithstanding the reputation, this would pave the way for effective tourist attraction plans for tourists from the southern countries of Persian Gulf. These resorts could host a variety of winter sports including mountain skiing heli-skiing, sledging, wild snowboarding, wild skiing, snow climbing, snowmobiling and festivals of snow sculptures. At present there are merely 16 ski pistes in Iran from which 3 have proper accommodation, 5 have just restaurants and the rest have no particular facilities at all. The ski pistes of Abali, Shemshak and Dizin in Tehran are capable of attracting foreign tourists.
Trips in routes without roads, biking, and motorcycling:
Depending on the climatic features and natural landscapes of a region, this type of adventure tourism can be developed. The slopes, forests, coasts and deserts in Iran make the above-mentioned tours possible. Trips in routs with no roads in desert regions passing the high Zagros Mountains and mountain biking in Javaherdeh, Tochal, Damavand and Deilaman, etc. are examples of this type of tourism in Iran. For mountain motorcycling, just like biking, there are great many routs in Iran.
parachuting, paragliding, ballooning:
Even though Iran enjoys the necessary climatic condition for all these sports, yet there aren’t suitable facilities for some of these sports like paragliding in different regions of the country. Investment in these sports can begin at the national level and investors can be hopeful to achieve international reputation with developing the necessary facilities. Stadiums and the areas outside Tehran, Kish Island, and the hunting base in Andimeshk can host such sports. Ballooning, too, can be done in all natural ranges in Iran, but so far no facilities have been offered by any organizations.
water sports, water skiing, motor boating & Diving: almost all tourist regions of the world which are connected to water in one way or another can offer water sports. The beaches in the north and south of Iran can turn into international water and beach-sport hubs of the world.
In addition to these two beaches, there are some large and natural lakes such as Urmia, Gohar, Parishan, etc. as well as the lakes behind dams. Of course investing in such areas would expose the lakes and rivers to pollution, industrial and home sewage wastewater, and the destruction of the landscapes. However there are potentials for establishing games and sports such as water skiing, kayaking and canoeing, motor boating, sailing, water skiing with parachute and motorboat, jet skiing, white water rafting, night diving, cave diving, watching the fish in the deep, in the beach and the rivers in Iran.
car racing: a long time has passed since the last time Iranians heard of car racing with four-wheel drives in Dubai. However even after all these years, there is still no suitable tour in the field of car racing in Iran. This is while in Iran it is possible to travel between the forest and desert in less than two hours which could be very attractive for adventure tourists.
Holding various rallies in snow, desert and mountain in wider areas than the existing ones, driving four-wheel drives in routs like Rigjen, climbing Dorfak, Yakhmorad to Taleqan, and Lar, and carting programs are other possibilities for attracting adventure tourists.
hunting and Fishing: among the tourists with special interest, fishermen are the most loyal of all to their favorite programs. This group of tourists, though, is divided into different categories and people fishing in lakes, sea and calm and rough rivers have different interests; but the point is that all of them are permanent customers. In Iran there are 50 lakes and lagoons as well as all the rivers of the country where people can go for fishing. Of course, launching fishing sites in lakes formed behind dams and releasing fish into these lakes could be added to the list. An important point about fishing in Iran is that in the vicinity of most of the big cities of the country, especially Tehran, fishing is possible. The hunting places of the country, too, have a long history in hosting hunters and tourists. There are more than 100 vast hunting places in Iran some of which (like Jajrood) are internationally known.
These places are scattered almost equally over different areas of Iran so that almost all provinces have one. Presently, hundreds of foreign hunters travel to Iran annually and their main destinations are the provinces of Fars, Western Azerbaijan Semnan, Khorasan, Isfahan, Kerman, Hormozgan and Bushehr. Among these destinations, Fars and Bushehr are more prominent with regard to the provisions offered for hunting Houbara Bustard. At present dozens of Arab sheikhs from the Persian Gulf region spend a lot of money to travel to Iran annually for hunting this bird.