Kurdistan is looking at France to develop a tourism industry

Kurdistan, also known as the Kurdistan Region or Iraqi Kurdistan, is an autonomous region of northern Iraq.

Kurdistan is looking at France to develop a tourism industry

Kurdistan, also known as the Kurdistan Region or Iraqi Kurdistan, is an autonomous region of northern Iraq. It borders Iran to the east, Turkey to the north, Syria to the west and the rest of Iraq to the south.

The tourism industry, in this fast emerging market, offers potentially lucrative returns. The Kurdistan Regional Government invites the worldwide business community to participate in developing Iraqi Kurdistan true potential. This website aims to provide tourism businesses and those interested in organization of tourism in Iraqi Kurdistan, with instant access to information on market trends, details of the development opportunities, and finding the right contacts.

The private sector is also invited to contribute towards the development of tourism in the Region.

As part of the continuously improvements in the trade, political, economic, cultural and social ties between France and Kurdistan Region, the two countries are working on further cooperation in the tourism sector.

As part of this effort, a delegation from the Kurdistan Region visited France, where they visited the Dordogne region in the Southwest of the country, which is well known for its tourist attractions.

The Kurdistan Region is allowed to have oversight, to some degree, of its own foreign relations without referring to Baghda.

The delegation, which included representatives of the Kurdistan Regional Governments (KRG) Board of Tourism, met with senior administrative officials of the Dordogne Region and discussed various potential ways of cooperation.

The delegation also visited the Pensilvac University for tourism studies and took a tour inside the university’s departments, which followed by a discussion with the university authorities about potential use of this university for Kurdistan’s tourism sector.

Nair Rosti, official spokesperson of the Board of Tourism said that Pishtiwan Abdulkarim, the Board’s representative in the delegation signed an MOU of cooperation with the Dordogne Region Tourism authorities.

One of the points of the MOU was that the Dordogne Region would help Kurdistan Region in tourism sector free of charge.

Other points of the agreement included the establishment of Dordogne tourism coordination and cooperation committee to help Kurdistan’s tourism sector, train tourism employees and cadres abroad as well as managing Kurdistan Region’s Tourism Training Academy with French tourism trainers and professionals.

Rosti reiterated that all this assistance will be for an unlimited time and free of charge.

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In addition to signing the MOU, the two parties agreed to improving cooperation and arranging more visits and mutual coordination in the future.

According to Rosti Kurdistan Region Presidency Office and the KRG Representative in France had a significant role in the realization of this achievement.

Kurdish President Massoud Barzani visited France last month where he met many top ranking officials including French President François Hollande.

Last year a delegation from the Dordogne Region had visited Kurdistan in 2012 when they discussed many possible ways of mutual cooperation in the tourism sector such as making use of the French Tourism School to support the Kurdistan Region Tourism Academy in terms of training and administrative support.

Although the number of tourist visiting Kurdistan Region has been rapidly growing in the past few years, the Region is still facing challenges in attracting tourists and treating with tourists while in country and tourist attractions are not still in a proper condition to attract foreign tourists.

Hence, training professional tourism cadres and importing tourism knowledge and experience from developed countries would be a big step forward to developing tourism sector in this emerging market and new tourism attraction.

Kurdistan Region there is abundance of Tourist attractions which are four seasonal and of high international level. Multi-purpose tourist attractions exist such as Natural, environmental, therapeutic, entertainment, historical, heritage and religious, and shopping, seasonal and permanent. All the aforementioned potentials and opportunities are still not exploited properly and are waiting for companies and investors to exploit them and utilize their features and high international standards.

Iraqi Kurdistan region has been through ages the major center for attracting tourists not only from Iraq but also on the international level especially the Middle East and Gulf region. Iraqi Kurdistan has been a basic tourism center visited by millions when only a part of Kurdistan was exploited by European companies such as French, Italian, German and other Arab tourism companies. Statistics indicate that the number of tourists who visited “Shaqlawa” resort alone for the period of three months of (2005) was (1210000) tourists, who (760,000) of them stayed in “Shaqlawa” for more than two days.

Kurdistan is the most peaceful and stable part of contemporary Iraq, and has a high proportion of its educated people skilled in non-Arabic languages. So, it will have initial advantages over the rest of Iraq, as a commercial gateway, and as an experienced manager of international and cross-frontier relations.

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