The Bavanat region, 230km northeast of shiraz, encompasses a 20km-long walnut-growing valley between the Zagros in the south and the arid deserts to the north. The main town is Suryan, but most visitors aim for Bazm village, 18km further east. The mountains near Bazm are home to Khamseh nomads, a confederation of five groups of Arabic, Turkish and Farsi-speaking people. From April to October, they pitch their tents in the hills and survive with few of the luxuries you might see in the tents of Qashqai nomads north of Shiraz.
It all started when Abbas Barzegar, one of the Bazm residents, bumped into two foreign tourists and their interpreter who had lost their way. The hospitable rural man invited the trio over to his humble abode, served them local food, and put them up for the night.
On a rainy night two German tourists are invited to the humble house of Abbas Barzegar, a resident of Bazm, a small village near Bavanat in Fars Province, and are served local food.
When Barzegar finds one of the two German tourists pretty down, he inquiries about the reason behind his sadness. Through the interpreter the young German tells his host that the following day is his birthday and he is unhappy about being unable to be with friends and family back home to celebrate his birthday.
When the children of the young villager learn about the German tourist’s birthday, they hastily arrange a party to celebrate the occasion. The German guy, who is elated by the arrangement, films the impromptu party and takes it back home.
In Germany the young man’s mother who is a journalist publishes a report on what has happened to her son in Iran. And that marks the start of Barzegar Tourist Village, which allows visitors to experience Iranian rural life during their stay.
The owner of the hotel says he is expanding business, preparing as many as 15,000 tents to accommodate foreign tourists.
In its tourism guide, UNESCO has described the nomadic tour as one of the most exciting tourism experiences in Iran.
The owner of the tourist hotel says honesty holds the key to his success. He says he doesn’t do anything that might dent the trust that has been established between him and the guests.