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Huge number of tourists visits Kurdistan Region during Eid.

Summary: The Kurdistan Region broke its record in welcoming huge numbers of tourists during the Eid al-Fitr holiday. Kurdistan Region tourist sites received 152,000 tourists, of which 9,000 were from outside the Region.

The Kurdistan Region broke its record in welcoming huge numbers of tourists during the Eid al-Fitr holiday. Kurdistan Region tourist sites received 152,000 tourists, of which 9,000 were from outside the Region.

The head of the Tourism Sector in Kurdistan Region, Mawlawi Jabar, told The Kurdish Globe Kurdistan's political stability and the unstable situation in other parts of Iraq, in addition to its many tourist sites, makes Kurdistan Region an attractive destination.

"More than 152,000 tourists visited Kurdistan Region during Eid. Of them, 99,000 visited Erbil province's tourist areas, 26,000 visited Duhok and 27,000 spent their time at Suleimaniya's tourist sites," noted Jabar.

He also said the Region's 350 hotels and 163 motels can accommodate 50,000 people. "The huge number of tourists forced us to make space for 70,000 tourists."

Too few hotel rooms during Eid al-Fitr meant some tourists slept on the streets. Tourists who did find hotel rooms complained about the high rates.

"My family and I have come to Kurdistan Region on trip for the Eid vacation, three days, from Urmiya, in Iran. We have spent more than $1,000 for those three days. The hotels, parks and attractions are expensive. You can eat a sandwich for 2,000 to 2,500 Iraqi dinars. Spending one night in Bekhal, an Erbil resort, costs $200," said Raza Hassan, an Iranian tourist.

Soran, in Erbil province, has many tourist sites that receive thousands of visitors a year, but the city's accommodations lack services. Tourism officials in Soran said the roads were built in the 1970s and are in poor condition, which makes driving there extremely slow.

"Not enough hotels and motels in the area meant some tourists slept outside. Furthermore, the tourists often left areas messy, which meant workers had to work harder to clean them up," said officials in the district.

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Publication:The Kurdish Globe (Erbil, Iraq)
Date:Sep 10, 2011
Words:360
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