Over One Million Tourists Visited Erbil Since January
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Over One Million Tourists Visited Erbil Since January

ERBIL — More than one million tourists visited Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan Region, in the first half of 2022, the region's Ministry of Municipalities and Tourism said on Sunday.

The number of tourists visiting Erbil from other local cities, Iraqi provinces, as well as other foreign countries has increased this year, the ministry said in a statement, explaining that 1,117,395 tourists visited the capital city between January and June.

As part of the reform program to diversify the economy, the ninth cabinet of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) places emphasis on developing the tourism sector and takes various steps to facilitate the entry of tourists to the region.

Speaking to Kurdistan 24, Ismail Minakhan, head of Erbil's General Directorate of Tourism, said: "We offer significant facilitation to the foreign tourists who visit Kurdistan Region, including reducing the upon arrival granted entry visa to twenty dollars for the passport holders of the Schengen Countries, Gulf Arab countries and some of the other World’s countries."

According to Minakhan, the parliament has done the first reading of the Tourism draft law and that it will hold the second reading and vote for it in the near future.

The official noted that his office will have additional powers regarding running the tourist facilities and organizing touristic events once the law takes effect.

"We have plans for organizing various carnivals, festivals, and competitions for the visiting tourists throughout the year," he added. "These events include but are not limited to hiking, horse-riding, parachuting, concerts, and locally made food and clothes exhibitions."

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