With more than $1.1 trillion turnover worldwide, the tourism industry is currently a substantial aspect of countries’ indirect and direct revenue. In fact, for some countries like Sri Lanka and Malaysia, tourism is the key contributor to their GDP.
Maritime tourism is one of the significant sections of the tourism industry that deals with shores, water, and money. The industry, with its various extensions, including travel agencies, commercial centers, restaurants, and hotels, together with the different entities relevant to traveling and leisure activities, makes a substantial contribution to the world’s economy every year.
It is the very reason that intrigued various nations such as the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, all of which make billions of dollars annually from the sale of oil, encouraging them to turn their gaze to the tourism industry to earn more income.
Experience and research show that tourism industry investments have always been a secure and safe financial move. The number of tourists globally in 2012 went beyond 1 billion people. Based on the statistics of the World Tourism Organization or UNWTO, there are 2 to 6 jobs for each tourist, and then 9 to 15 indirect ones are created. These indirect jobs are those that include service-oriented professions and productive skills.
It is why, even with such a vast potential, Iran’s income from the tourism sector alone was just a bit more than $1 billion in the past year. These numbers are expected to reach up to $20 billion by 2025.
Maritime tourism is one of the various types of tourism with benefits to offer to the countries lying along the seashores. This tourism industry sector is based on visitors and tourists participating in passive and active holiday or leisure pursuits or journeys in or on coastal waters, their shorelines, and their immediate hinterlands.
The collective term marine leisure refers to the complete range of pursuits or activities that local people, day visitors, and tourists undertake in these marine-related areas.
Iran’s Role in the Maritime Tourism Industry
Iran has immediate access to the sea regions from south to north, offering exceptional potential to harness the perks of maritime tourism.
The seven provinces of Iran, namely Baluchistan, Bushehr, Gilan, Golestan, Hormozgan, Khuzestan, Mazandaran, and Sistan, have long beaches along the Oman Sea, Persian Gulf, and Caspian Sea.
The Iranian Ports and Marine and Tourism Organization has offered various ideas in recent years to grow maritime tourism further, bringing prosperity to such a critical business.
Raising the public’s awareness towards this form of tourism, the exhaustive introduction of the maritime attractions and potentials of the country, and the government’s support for the sector are some of the best steps to propel the industry.
Promoting the potential of Iran in the successful organization of marine tours, highlighting the country’s coastlines, and getting government support are the steps that should be taken for maritime tourism to prosper and become Iran’s source of revenue.
Different Types of Marine Tourism in the World
You can find coastal tourism on the coastlines of the Caspian Sea at Chabahar, Kish, and Qeshm. Beach activities for tourists include boating, flyboarding, jet skiing, swimming, sunbathing on sandy beaches, fishing in the shallow seas, and watching the sunset, all of which can be enjoyed on most beaches in Iran.
If you want to visit all of Iran’s best spots and destinations, some tours can help you save time and money. This form of sustainable tourism offers numerous potentials for development. It also led to the resurgence of the coastal communities that were neglected in the past.
The vast potential of the oceans and seas has been taken advantage of to attract visitors to different corners of the globe.
Cruises are among the most essential and popular types of maritime tourism. During the late 19th century and the early 20th century, cruise ships were mandated to ferry passengers across the seas. Most cruise ships, including the legendary Titanic, which saw its tragic end in 1912 that killed 1,500 passengers and crew members, offered guests luxurious options for sailing on the high seas. Initially, steam engines powered these ships, even though many cruise ships use diesel fuel.
Right now, the sector of maritime tourism is legal. Any commercial ship, cruise ships included, should have a registration with a government to be present on the international waters. The ships of a country can be registered once it becomes a part of the International Maritime Organization or IMO.
The IMO is among the organizations under the United Nations. The cruise industry is crucial to improve maritime security. It collaborates with the non-governmental organization International Council of Cruise Lines or ICCL to safeguard naval safety and the environment.
Cruise ships are by far only one of many means to experience maritime tourism to the fullest. Ecotourism is a tourism style focusing on the natural environment with no harm brought to it. Scuba diving is one of the popular forms of marine and ocean ecotourism.
Divers who use customized devices for breathing can remain underwater for long periods when they go scuba diving. The divers like to observe the water’s beauty, including the aquatic critters, coral reefs, and fish.
One more form of marine ecotourism is the cruises visiting marine species like dolphins or humpback whales while causing minimal damage to the natural environment as much as possible.
Impact of Tourism on the Coastal Regions and the Seas
The oceans are among the most essential parts of nature that tourism development has been bringing serious harm to. Travels and enjoyment focused on marine attractions, like other forms of tourism, can impact the aquatic regions and the seas.
The only issue here is that maritime tourism has positive and negative effects. This kind of tourism has expected pleasant effects, although this will still depend on people. Environmental protection and developing indigenous communities are two of the most essential benefits of maritime tourism.
On the other hand, since the seas and oceans are linked and massive systems, they play a substantial part in the global ecosystem. The detrimental effects of tourism show themselves over time across the world. Some adverse effects of maritime tourism include deforestation, coastal area development, fueling erosion, and damage to the area’s wildlife and coral reefs.
Maritime Tourism and Its Effects on the Economy
Maritime tourism is among the most critical components that attract tourists. As a result, its development and expansion might help spur the economy. Many international tourists are very familiar with Iran’s historical and ancient landmarks, for example. Still, many must know all the beauty buried and hidden in the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea.
Without a doubt, by offering suitable circumstances for the cruise ship sea journeys on the seas of Iran, a vast portion of the country’s riches to entice visitors will be presented and shown to the rest of the world. Iran is also expected to see a surge of tourists and visitors daily.
In addition, the rising popularity of maritime tourism calls for specialist personnel and various recreational amenities on board the seagoing ships. The result is that the world will witness a colossal boost in the number of jobs created in the industry. As maritime tourism continues to grow, it’s vital that everyone learns and knows how to protect the seas and the surrounding environments. This way, the industry will develop without ruining the planet. Once this happens, the sector can be expected to become bigger and better for the next generations to enjoy and experience.