People, Travel

Iraqi Kurdish, Iranian Operators to Cooperate

Iraqi Kurdish, Iranian Operators to CooperateIraqi Kurdish, Iranian Operators to Cooperate

Ten Iranian tourism firms who traveled to Iraqi Kurdistan last week have signed 47 contracts with the autonomous region’s tour operators to expand bilateral ties.

The contracts, whose signing was overseen by Iraqi Kurdistan’s General Authority for Tourism (GAT), focus on organizing affordable tours for citizens of the two countries, IRNA reported.

GAT announced in a statement that the companies may apply for loans from the organization to achieve their goals.

Ten Iranian companies traveled to the autonomous region last week at the invitation of GAT, in a move aimed at publicizing the region’s high security conditions and tourism opportunities.

Iraqi Kurdistan is an autonomous region in the north of Iraq officially governed by the Kurdistan Regional Government, which was created after the downfall of the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Undeterred by the security challenges posed by the so-called Islamic State militants, Kurdish officials plan to transform the region into a global tourist destination by 2025. They have set themselves annual goals, such as boosting the number of tourists, building hotels, and improving revenue.

To that end, the KRG tourism officials have started courting other nations, such as Austria and Iran. Inhabited by nearly seven million Kurds, Iran is an ideal target for the tourism sector to invest in.  

Nearly two million tourists from Iran visit Kurdistan every year.