Around 200,000 tourists visited Kurdistan in Nawroz
Around 200,000 tourists from across the world, especially from the neighboring countries, have visited the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region’s tourist attractions during the new Kurdish Calendar, Nawroz. The spokesperson for Kurdistan Region Tourism Board explained that because of the security and stability this region offers, tourists are attracted to the place.
Nadir Rosti went on to explain that the vast majority of tourists were coming from others parts of Iraq and neighboring countries. “The hotels and restaurants welcomed the tourists very kindly and no serious problems have thus far recorded,” he said optimistically.
Mustafa Hama-Raheem, Director of Tourism Affairs in Silemani, said that the number of tourists has increased relatively, comparison to the previous year. “Out of the 200,000 tourists, around 70,000 visited the second largest Kurdish province of Silemani,” he explained. Out of the total figures given, he explained that 67,000 tourists entered the region through airports and official border crossings with neighboring countries, especially Iran, and the rest 3,000 tourists entered through the towns of Raniya and Qaladzey unofficially [whose names were not record].
Captain Mariwan Mohammed Amin, spokesperson for General Directorate of Silemani’s Traffic Police, said that around 12 car accidents recorded were recorded in the province. Out of the accidents, at least two persons died, wound- ing eight other.
He also said that the rate of the car accidents has been reduced very dramatically in Nawroz but the directorate wants to preserve the safety of citizens, and seeks to lower the number of car accident-related injuries. “Part of the accidents happened due to exceed- ing the eligible speed by youths,” he said.
Obaidullah Dawood, Director of General Directorate of Tourism in Duhok, said that the number of the tourists who entered Kurdistan from neighboring countries, especially Turkey and Syria, during the first eight days of Nawroz is estimated to be around 90, 000. “Around 44 percent of the tourists were entered Kurdistan Region through Ibrahim Khalil border,” he said.
The directorate had indicated at least 15 tourist at- tractions where it organized scores of parties and ceremonies. Kurdistan region has been trying to cater for touristic needs, hoping to mark themselves visible for the world as a safe haven in Middle east with hundreds of attractions.
A Kurdish couple seen here in Shanadar Park celebrating the arrival of Nawroz, the Kurdish new year. March 20, 2013.
A view of fireworks display over the sky of the capital city of Erbil during Nawroz, Kurdish New Calendar, ceremony on March 20, 2013.