In an interview with IRNA, Ismaeil Baybordi added, “Twelve thousand foreign tourists visited Aran va Bidgol tourist attractions this year compared to less than 8,000 in the same period last year.”
He listed the Maranjab Desert, Chale Sonbak Desert, the underground city of Nooshabad and Sefid Shahr at the top of the list of most visited natural and historical monuments in the city, IRNA reported.
The number of tourists visiting the city is more than the above figure, because some arrivals are not officially recorded, he said, adding that the city needs a system to record all arrivals.
The city has 42 religious places which creates a great opportunity to turn the site to a religious tourist attraction, Baybordi said.
Aran va Bidgol county, with four subsidiary cities (Aran va Bidgol, Nooshabad, Abouzeidabad and Sefid Shahr), is the northernmost region of Isfahan Province and of the oldest human settlements in the Iranian Plateau; its history traces back to the Sialk civilization (with about nine thousand years of history).
This county is made of the unification of the two old cities of Aran and Bidgol. The existence of hundreds of old qanats (subterranean canals), ancient monuments and castles across Dasht-e Kavir within the vicinity of this county, and some qanats that cross from the lower levels of the structure of the old Kashan city, shows the ancient history of development and prosperity in this region. Aran va Bidgol, with unique historical and natural monuments and its own special traditions and customs is considered to be among the tourist attractions of Isfahan Province.
Due to enjoying the four seasons and relatively moderate weather, diversity of tourist attractions, and vast flora and fauna, Maranjab is considered one of the most beautiful and unique deserts in the world.
Maranjab was originally the name of a caravanserai and an aqueduct which was built during Shah Abbas Safavid and later the surrounding area became known as the Maranjab Desert.