Several government agencies and private investors have announced plans to turn Bandar Anzali in Gilan Province into Iran's "marine tourism hub”. According to the Financial Tribune, the provincial government plans three marinas in the coastal ports of Rasht, Chamkhaleh and Bandar Anzali. The country has only nominal infrastructure for recreational boating and marine tourism, though plans have been in place for years.
"The first order of business is to build marinas in those three locations to encourage people to use boats for transportation, which will also help develop sea tourism," Hossein Cheraghi, head of the provincial office of Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization, told the website. He added that the coastal regions have the potential to draw three million foreign visitors each year. Marine tourism is currently responsible for just 1% of national employment and revenue.
Last year, Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization drafted an agreement to rally full-scale support from government officials to develop marine tourism.