Kur­dis­tan Re­gion par­tic­i­pates in In­ter­na­tional Tourism Fair in Spain

The Kurdish Globe - - EDITORIAL -

The Kur­dis­tan Re­gion for the first time par­tic­i­pated in FITUR 2013, a ma­jor in­ter­na­tional tourism fair in Madrid, in or­der to present and pro­mote the re­gion as a tourist hotspot.

The Kur­dis­tan Re­gion was rep­re­sented at the fair by the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Government (KRG) Rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Spain, the Kur­dis­tan Gen­eral Board of Tourism and the tourism com­pany Marjan Group. The event ran from 30 Jan­uary to 3 Fe­bru­ary at the Fe­ria de Madrid con­ven­tion cen­tre.

Mr Da­ban Shadala, the KRG Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to Spain, said that he was very pleased with the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion’s par­tic­i­pa­tion as FITUR is an in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed event.

Mr Shadala said, “The Kur­dis­tan Re­gion has much po­ten­tial for tourism; we pos­sess many an­cient arche­o­log­i­cal sites which could be of huge fas­ci­na­tion to those in­ter­ested in his­tory. More­over, the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion en­com­passes the Za­gros moun­tain range which of- fers breath­tak­ing scenery.”

He added, “There is con­sid­er­able busi­ness travel to Er­bil, but it is now time for the KRG and our com­pa­nies to take on the chal­lenge of work­ing in the tourism in­dus­try, to pro­mote the Re­gion as a place to visit for leisure and sight­see­ing.”

Mr Shadala said that the KRG Rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Spain is ready for more co­op­er­a­tion with com­pa­nies and other en­ti­ties to pro­mote the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion as a tourist des­ti­na­tion.

Mr Mawlawi Jabar Wa­hab, Head of the KRG’s Gen­eral Board of Tourism, said, “FITUR is one of the world’s most im­por­tant tourism fairs, so we con­sider the par­tic­i­pa­tion of a Kur­dish com­pany as a big step to­ward mar­ket­ing our tourism sec­tor in­ter­na­tion­ally. We en­cour­age Kur­dish com­pa­nies to co­op­er­ate with their for­eign coun­ter­parts in or­der to cre­ate and pro­vide tours.”

He added, “The Gen­eral Board of Tourism’s pol­icy is to es­tab­lish new spa­ces in which to mar­ket the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. The plan is to par­tic­i­pate in var­i­ous in­ter­na­tional tourism fairs and to pub­li­cise Kur­dis­tan as a tourism hotspot in the in­ter­na­tional me­dia.”

Mr Hin­dreen Al-Ozairy, the Di­rec­tor of Marjan Group, said, “This was a unique op­por­tu­nity not only for the com­pany, but also for in­tro­duc­ing the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion to the peo­ple of Spain as a tourist des­ti­na­tion.”

He added, “We re­al­ized that Kur­dis­tan is not very well known here in Spain, but we have dis­cov­ered that there are a lot of tour- ists in­ter­ested in vis­it­ing new and in­ter­est­ing des­ti­na­tions, with many peo­ple ex­press­ing their in­ter­est in vis­it­ing Kur­dis­tan.”

Mr Al-Ozairy said that Marjan Group hopes to par­tic­i­pate in the fair next year with a larger stand and more par­tic­i­pat­ing Kur­dish travel agents.

Last year the In­ter­na­tional Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR) had over 9,000 ex­hibitors from 167 coun­tries or re­gions, nearly 120,000 trade par­tic­i­pants, and over 90,000 vis­i­tors from the gen­eral pub­lic.

Vis­i­tors stop by the stand of Kur­dish Marjan Travel Group booth at the Madrid Fair.

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