Kurdistan Region on pace for eight million tourists in 2023
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) Board of Tourism is preparing for a busy winter tourism season, anticipating a greater number of tourists during the season in 2023-2024.
Sirwan Tofiq, the marketing manager at the Board, gave a presentation to the Department of Media and Information regarding its efforts to attract winter tourists to destinations such as Gara Mountain, Penjwen, Korek, Pirzha, and Sakran, which are renowned for their skiing and paragliding opportunities.
As a result of these efforts, the total number of tourists is on pace to reach eight million in 2023, with even higher numbers expected in future years. If predicted accurately, that figure would account for 2 million tourists more than the 6 million that visited in 2022.
By the end of Aug. 2023, approximately five million summer tourists, 25% of whom were foreigners, had visited the Kurdish region’s tourist attractions. The government plans to further boost tourism, aiming for 20 million tourists by 2030.
The relative security and stability of the Region are generally cited as the primary factors of the booming Kurdish tourism sector.
In addition to the holiday season, thousands of domestic tourists from across Iraq visit the northern Kurdistan Region, known for its mountain resorts and relatively cool temperatures, to escape the scorching summer heat weather in southern Iraq.
The KRG has proposed plans to further boost the tourism sector as an alternative to diversify its overreliance on hydrocarbon revenues.
Earlier in 2023, the government launched an electronic visa application system as part of its goal to facilitate investment and tourist traffic into the Kurdish region.