Over two Mil­lion tourists vis­ited Kur­dis­tan in 2012

The Kurdish Globe - - EDITORIAL -

Kur­dis­tan is be­com­ing a hotspot for tourists, and lo­cals are go­ing to great lengths to make sure the re­gion is ‘tourist friendly’. Nadir Rosti, the spokesman for Kur­dis­tan Re­gion’s Gen­eral Board of Tourism has said, “Year by year the num­ber of tourists to Kur­dis­tan has in­creased. In 2012 nearly 2.17 mil­lion peo­ple vis­ited the re­gion’s tourist at­trac­tions. 80% of the vis­i­tors were lo­cal peo­ple while 20% were from out­side”.

Ac­cord­ing to Rosti, the num­ber of tourists has in­creased by 30% in 2012 since 2011. Ap­prox­i­mately 1,702,390 peo­ple vis­ited the re­gion, and the Board’s strate­gic plan­ning has in­di­cated that they are hop­ing the num­ber of tourists would in­crease by 4 mil­lion in 2015.

Ev­ery year, dif­fer­ent fig­ures are an­nounced by the Board, traf­fic po­lice and se­cu­rity of­fi­cials. The fig­ures are not al­ways con­sis­tent, but the Board’s fig­ures are con­firmed by Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Government’s Bureau of Statis­tics and the Min­istry of Plan­ning.

There are 444 ho­tels, 242 mo­tels, 54 tourist vil­lages, and 1480 restau­rants and cafe­te­rias in Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. This year, 41 Mil­lion Iraqi Di­nars were al­lo­cated for 47 tourist projects, adding up to 77 tourist projects in to­tal -- cur­rently there are 30 tourist projects which are un­der con­struc­tion, cost­ing 27 mil­lion Iraqi Di­nars.

Kur­dis­tan Re­gion has seen a great boost in tourism over the past few years. It has been rec­og­nized for its im­pres­sive nat­u­ral land­scapes and more im­por­tantly be­cause it is the only re­gion in Iraq that of­fers se­cu­rity.

Dur­ing the spring and sum­mer sea­sons, ev­ery day, thou­sands of tourists from Mid­dle and South­ern Iraq, and many oth­ers from out­side of the re­gion visit Kur­dis­tan. The re­gion has beau­ti­ful moun­tains, and land­scapes. Lo­cal busi­nesses have been set up to of­fer tourists moun­tain bik­ing, hik­ing, and many other ex­cit­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

Tourists visit Ah­mad Awa vil­lage in the Hawraman district.

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