0713 GMT May 25, 2022
An official from Ardebil Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Department described the northwestern province’s winter tourism capacities as unique, saying Ardebil is one of the few places in the world that has rich mineral hot springs along with ski slopes and winter recreation centers.
In an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, the head of Ardebil Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Department, Nader Fallahi, compared the position of winter tourism in Ardebil with the Alps in Europe, saying that despite its high capacity for winter tourism, the situation in Ardebil was quite the opposite of the Alps. Tourism thrived only in the summer due to its beautiful and lush nature, while it was closed in winter.
However, tourism authorities of the province have developed extensive plans to draw more tourists during the winter season by launching ski resorts.
The Alps are famous for their pristine slopes, which facilitate many popular winter sports, such as skiing. The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range that lies entirely in Europe.
Fallahi said the Alps region attracts many tourists and travelers in the winter, and is famous in the world. Accommodation units and restaurants in this area have a lot of income.
However, the capacities of winter tourism in Ardebil are unparalleled due to its glaciers and snow-covered mountains and slopes, as well as the hot springs, he said, predicting that “We would see a boom in winter tourism in this area if the infrastructure is provided”.
The official said his department has focused on the development of winter tourism, adding that the province planned to develop ski runs and winter recreation centers.
Referring to the capacity of Ardebil ski tracks, Fallahi said that there are five ski resorts across the province, including Alvars in Sareyn, Ojur in Sareyn, Shabil in Meshkinshahr, Andbill in Khalkhal, and Fandoqlu in Namin.
Referring to the number of ski resorts in Ardebil, he said the province is now known as a winter tourism hub in the country.
Sabalan Hot Spring Complex, Saerin, Ardebil Province
Elaborating on the mineral hot springs in Ardebil, Fallahi said there are 110 mineral hot springs across the province, including Sareyn, Meshginshahr, Khalkhal, Kowsar, and Nir counties, in which 35 water treatment centers have been established and four new centers are under construction.
The head of the tourism department said more than 220 accommodation units, with 15,000 beds, are available in the ski resorts and hot springs for travelers.
Shabil Hot Spring, Meshginshahr, Ardebil Province
He added that natural honey, dairy, organic fruits, and local foods are also supplied in these recreation centers.
Construction of two five-star hotels has begun in Sareyn and the provincial capital cirt of Ardebil, and several four-star hotels have also been inaugurated and several other hotels will be put into operation this year, Fallahi said, describing the works done in the field of tourism as a great leap forward in the province.