0220 GMT January 23, 2020
Over 5,000 foreign tourists visited Lut Desert last year (ended March 20, 2019), according to Fereydoun Fa’ali.
Expressing satisfaction with the large number of annual visits of foreign tourists to the desert, Fa’ali said that this shows the sustainable security in the region.
Fa’ali noted that new tourism routes can be introduced, paying due attention to protective standards, for further exploration of the desert by tourists, IRNA reported.
"In order to preserve the Lut Desert as Iran’s first-ever natural heritage on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, we need to abide by the relevant rules and regulations", the ICHHTO official said.
Tourism can prevent the destruction of natural assets of an area through due regard to studying and planning, he added.
The area is situated in an interior basin surrounded by mountains, so it is in a rain shadow, and, coupled with high temperatures, which make the climate hyper-arid. It is a salt desert in northeastern Kerman Province and is the 25th largest desert in the world. It is also one of the hottest places on Earth and, in 2005, recorded the highest temperature ever measured on the planet: 70.7 degrees Celsius.
Due to its remoteness from major population centers and its extreme environmental conditions, including extreme heat and lack of water, much of the Lut Desert is inaccessible and therefore naturally protected.
He underlined the need to confer on the private sector’s investors to further introduce natural fields, adding that creating eco-camps and jungle parks can prepare the ground for the presence of tourists in natural areas.
Fa’ali said that Kerman Province will introduce new tourism investment packages in the near future.
According to a study, more than half of the desert’s surface, 51,800 square kilometers, is covered by volcanic rocks.