Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Business

Kurdistan hopes to entice Iranian tourists with longer visas

By Rudaw 25/5/2017
Tourists visit location in Qaradagh, Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region.
Tourists visit location in Qaradagh, Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – In an effort to attract more tourists from Iran and its Kurdish region and to help boost the local economy, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is extending visa validity from 15 to 30 days.
 
Nadir Dosti, spokesperson of the Tourism Board in the Kurdistan Region, told Rudaw that the decision will not only increase the number of Iranian passport holders visiting Kurdistan, but also facilitate bringing capital into the Region already suffering from an economic crisis.
 
“The longer tourists are given the opportunity to stay in the Kurdistan Region, the more profit they bring in terms of spending money. With each day they stay, they spend more,” said Dosti.
 
Hotels, motels, and resorts on the border areas of the Kurdistan Region and Iran have pinned much hope on Iranian tourists as the main source of their income. They have welcomed the extension of the visa validity.
 
“The number of our guests has considerably increased as Soran area has shared borders with Iran," said Ahmed Ghafar, a motel owner in Soran.
 
Abdulwahid Shahryar, a holidaymaker from Iran, was happy with the decision to issue longer visas. “Indeed 15 days was short, because when we used to come to the Kurdistan Region we could not visit some cities and areas of our preference,” he said.
 
According to officials in the border areas, before the decision was made, there were just 16 buses entering the Region on a daily basis. The number has now doubled.
 
The slow but steady return of holidaymakers to the Kurdistan Region has nearly sextupled incomes from tourism in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2016.
 
According to the Kurdish Ministry of Tourism, the number of travelers visiting the Region has increased by around 60 percent since last year. That has led to six-fold revenues for an industry which was almost stagnated over the past three years following the ISIS war in northern Iraq. 
 
Authorities have planned to invest millions in modern infrastructure and build hundreds of new tourist attractions across the Region, which they hope will encourage the return of the tourists.

Kurdish authorities have planned to spend an estimated $100 million in the coming years to revive and develop an industry many believe will be profitable in the long-run. 

The ministry has also said it will work to facilitate the entry of Iraqi visitors into the Kurdistan Region after recent tightening of check points for security reasons limited the arrival of Iraqi travelers.

Comments

 
Ardalan | 26/5/2017
@all the Iran haters. We will be hanging out and having a party together in Erbil. Stop hating Your Irani bretheren.

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Leon | 4/20/2019 11:40:24 AM
Islam is cancer and it must be destroyed. The only way forward for the Middle East is to abandon Pisslam. It is the most vile religion and has driven...
Istanbul vote result marks watershed in political history
| 8 hours ago | (1)
Jay | 4/19/2019 10:43:13 PM
PUK should stop making tasks for forming the government harder and Iraqi Kurds should start negotiating with the central government. Despite PUK...
Kurdi | 4/20/2019 10:42:40 AM
Rudaw : how come only Muraz can comment and I see comments reduced to almost nil ??!!! This proves that you are clandestine
Gorran and PUK ready to sign on dotted line or are gaps still too big?
| yesterday at 11:24 | (4)
Peter | 4/20/2019 6:55:20 AM
Good. Turkish "soldiers" are terrorists, no different to any other member of ISIS.
4 Turkish soldiers killed in skirmish with PKK: defense ministry
| 11 hours ago | (1)
Hans | 4/11/2019 8:09:05 PM
@fraud, let's see if we understand this, so Kurds, who at the time held no power in Turkey, committed genocide on christians for Turks, then FLED...
Shahin Sorekli | 4/20/2019 4:39:55 AM
The name of this town has always been "Kobani." I challenge anyone to show me the evidence that the false name "Kobane" existed before 2011.
Kobane or Kobani? History won't care, but some locals will
| 10/4/2019 | (9)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

President Macron pledges ‘military, civilian support': SDC leader 20 hours ago | (1)

President Macron pledges ‘military, civilian support': SDC leader

The SDC is the political wing of the co more
Watchdog concerned with press freedom in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey 21 hours ago | (1)

Watchdog concerned with press freedom in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey

Norway, Finland and Sweden topped the list more
Iraq parliament to host regional rivals in Baghdad 22 hours ago |

Iraq parliament to host regional rivals in Baghdad

Baghdad has sought to bring Syria back into the more
0.844 seconds