Tourism is up across the Kurdistan Region over the Eid holiday, according to initial reports.
Erbil’s Rawanduz is seeing up to 6,000 tourists daily with an increase in the number of tour operators bringing visitors from southern Iraq and more restaurants and accommodation on offer.
“Nearly 100 companies bring tourists from south and central Iraq to our resorts in the Kurdistan Region. There are many buses coming here. There might be 5,000 to 6,000 tourists here today,” said Chia Sarani, director of Rawanduz Tourism.
The closure of the Erbil-Kirkuk road has been a boon for Sulaimani and Halabja.
"Since Kirkuk-Erbil road was closed, this year many Iraqis from the south came to Sulaimani and Halabja. Ahmadawa in Halabja and Dukan in Sulaimani have attracted the most visitors this year," Ali Rauf, the director of tourism in Sulaimani province, told Rudaw.
The Kirkuk-Erbil road was closed last October after Kurdish and Iraqi forces clashed when federal forces took control of the disputed area. The road was just reopened on Saturday.
About 50,000 tourists visited Sulaimani between June 14 and 16, according to official figures.
The Sulaimani’s tourism office has inspected visitor attractions to evaluate what services are available and what is needed as the province works to develop what a potentially very profitable industry.
Kurdistan’s cooler mountain climes are an attraction people from the hotter southern regions of Iraq.
Monday is the final day of Eid holidays in the Kurdistan Region.