Thousands of Iraqi tourists spend Eid holiday in Kurdistan Region

Thousands of Iraqi tourists spend Eid holiday in Kurdistan Region

During the last five days, over 180,000 tourists have visited the Region for the Eid holiday, the Kurdistan Region’s Board of Tourism said on Thursday.

Nadr Rosti, the spokesperson for the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Board of Tourism, told Kurdistan 24 that 181,000 Iraqi tourists had arrived to spend Eid holiday in the Kurdistan Region’s cities and resorts.

Rosti said the tourists who have visited the various areas in Kurdistan during the past five days all come from outside the Region, adding that the statistics did not include local tourists.

Compared to last year’s Eid al-Adha holiday, there is a 24 percent rise in the number of tourists visiting the Kurdistan Region with 145,000 visitors, he revealed.

The KRG official added that tourists keep coming to the Region, and thus, the number is expected to increase.

According to Rosti, in the first half of 2018, 1.3 million tourists had visited the Kurdistan Region—a majority of them, 82 percent, were Iraqi tourists, while 13 percent were from Iran, and five percent were foreigners.

Due to the closure of the Region’s airports and the economic crisis in Iran, the number of Iranian and foreign tourists has decreased, he told Kurdistan 24.

The Kurdistan Region is witnessing a tourism boost as cities receive crowds of visitors from the south during the Eid al-Adha celebrations, especially since the Erbil-Kirkuk road reopened.

Rosti previously predicted that some 200,000 tourists would visit Kurdistan during the four-day holiday.