Over 1.5 million tourists visit Soran Independent Administration annually

Abu Fahd, a tourist from Kuwait, told Kurdistan24 that tourists should respect the guidelines related to tourism and fully comply with keeping tourist attractions clean.
A tourist destination in Soran Independent Administration. (Photo: Kurdistan24)
A tourist destination in Soran Independent Administration. (Photo: Kurdistan24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan24) – Every year, more than 1.5 million tourists visit the tourist destinations of Erbil’s Soran Independent Administration throughout all four seasons. However, a significant problem has emerged due to the lack of environmental protection and the irresponsible dumping of trash by some tourists. This practice not only tarnishes the beauty and allure of the area but also undermines its integrity.

Abu Fahd, a tourist from Kuwait, told Kurdistan24 that tourists should respect the guidelines related to tourism and fully comply with keeping tourist attractions clean. “The resorts in Kurdistan are attractive, and the people are very respectful,” Fahd added.

Meanwhile, Parez Yousef, the director of tourism in Rawanduz, told Kurdistan24: "When we visit a tourist destination like Turkey or Lebanon, we refrain from littering because we know that tourists may face serious penalties. Just as these countries have laws, we should also have similar regulations here. Tourists should be mindful of maintaining the cleanliness of tourist areas."

Despite hurdles such as the war on ISIS and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kurdistan Region’s tourism industry has expanded, with six million tourists visiting in 2022. In 2023, seven million tourists were recorded, equaling a 16% increase from the previous year.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), as part of its Ninth Cabinet's agenda, has emphasized the importance of tourism as an alternative to diversifying its reliance on hydrocarbon revenues. The plan includes an 8-year-long strategy to attract 20 million tourists annually.

Additional reporting by Kurdistan24 Soran Reporter Tayfur Mohammed