Mas­sive tourism projects un­der con­struc­tion

No­table projects in pipe­line to pre­pare Er­bil to wel­come tourists for 2014 and win the Arab Tourism Cap­i­tal ac­co­lade

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Salih Wal­ad­bagi

Re­cently, the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Government’s (KRG) Tourism Gen­eral Di­rec­torate said that fa­mous in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies will be ar­riv­ing to de­velop the tourism sec­tor.

“Sev­eral prom­i­nent in­ter­na­tional ho­tels would like to start a branch in Er­bil such as Mar­riot and Sher­a­ton,” Tourism Di­rec­torate Gen­eral Spokesman Barzan Mo­hammed said.

He also added that the big­gest ever tele-cabin in Iraq, as claimed by of­fi­cials, is cur­rently fin­ished be­tween Korek Moun­tain and the town of Rawan­diz, adding that it is ready to wel­come tourists. He fur­ther stated that a spe­cial place for ski­ing is un­der con­struc­tion on the moun­tain.

The of­fi­cial said that there are sev­eral more prom­i­nent projects in Korek such as the build­ing of 160 mo­tels and high qual­ity restau­rants.

Fol­low­ing Er­bil’s nom­i­na­tion as the Arab Tourism Cap­i­tal for 2014, the KRG’s tourism in­sti­tu­tions have been work­ing hard to get the city ready to wel­come tourists from across the world, the of­fi­cial re­vealed. More ar­range­ments The di­rec­tor re­marked that they have put the cor­ner­stones of a tourism cen­ter to train and ed­u­cate tourism staff in or­der to guide the tourists.

Months ago Iraq nom­i­nated Er­bil in a com­pe­ti­tion to re­veal top tourism cap­i­tals for 2014-15 among Arab coun­tries. This is the first time Iraq has com­peted for this eco­nom­i­cally im­por­tant ti­tle.

In 2013, around 30 cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties and fes­ti­vals will be con­ducted with the in­ten­tion of pre­par­ing the grounds to wel­come tourists in 2014.

The spokesman also said that all the tourism re­lated con­fer­ences of the Arab coun­tries will be car­ried out in the cap­i­tal city of Er­bil.

Ease of trans­porta­tion, plen­ti­ful his­tor­i­cal sites and suf­fi­cient ho­tels and restau­rants are fac­tors in iden­ti­fy­ing the Arab tourism cap­i­tal.

To widen tourism re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties, it is cur­rently try­ing to in­vest on re­li­gious and sport­ing fes­ti­vals in or­der to at­tract the at­ten­tion of as many peo­ple across the world, ac­cord­ing to the spokesman.

With only a year re­main­ing to 2014, of­fi­cials ac­knowl­edge that the pe­riod is short to pre­pare the city suf­f­i­cently.

Er­bil’s gov­er­nor Nawzad Hadi in a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view with The Kur­dish Globe said that the Tourism Min­istry in Bagh­dad had made this de­ci­sion be­cause Er­bil has wit­nessed a num­ber of qual­ity changes in terms of eco­nomic in­fra­struc­ture and in a num­ber of other as­pects and has devel­oped in the past few years in terms of roads, streets, parks, shop­ping malls and en­joys the best sit­u­a­tion com­pared to all other Iraqi cities, to al­low Iraq to com­pete with other Arab cities in this com­pe­ti­tion and for the ti­tle of 2014 Arab Tourism Cap­i­tal.

Poor qual­ity tourist at­trac­tions, lo­cal ex­pense rate and lack of ac­com­mo­da­tion are the main con­cerns for tourists.

The of­fi­cial said that the di­rec­torate re­cently made a de­ci­sion that all the ho­tels, mo­tels and restau­rants have to hang the prices up in their lob­bies.

Mo­hammed also warned that it will fine any place if they vi­o­late the min­istry’s reg­u­la­tions.

An il­lus­tra­tion of the Kempin­sky Ho­tel build­ing cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion in Er­bil

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