Using this graphic and referring to it is encouraged, and please use it in presentations, web pages, newspapers, blogs and reports.
For any form of publication, please include the link to this page and give the cartographer/designer credit (in this case Riccardo Pravettoni, GRID-Arendal)
National Geographic, May 1999.
Uploaded on Wednesday 07 Mar 2012
Ethnolinguistic groups in the Caspian basin
Riccardo Pravettoni, GRID-Arendal
The Caspian region has plenty to choose from when
exploring past and present civilizations and cultures,
historical monuments and the beauty of its natural
resources. With unspoilt beaches in the east and west,
lush mountain forests in the south, and the majestic Volga
in the north, coupled with a mosaic of ethnic origins
and cultures, it has the potential to attract thousands of
visitors. Yet, the travel trade faces major challenges in the
Caspian region. Sustainable tourism is still an unexplored
opportunity but inadequate infrastructure, including
improper waste management or water facilities, and
stress on residential areas hinder growth in this sector.
The Iranian part of the Caspian Sea, with its verdant plain
and high mountains, accommodates twice its ‘normal’
population in the summer when tourists from other parts
of Iran flock to the area. Some residences are set back only
a few metres from the water line. In 2007 Turkmenistan
approved a contract for Avaza, a huge national tourist
resort involving the construction of an island on the
shore of Caspian. All these developments pay little
attention to the rise in sea level, which continues to be a
real threat to the coastal area. Some parts of the region,
such as Dagestan, are subject to limitations for security
reasons. With an arid or semi-arid climate and difficult
accessibility, parts of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan
would also face problems in opening up for tourism.