More than 100,000 tourists visited Erbil, Sulaimani for Newroz celebrations: ministry

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — More than 100,000 tourists have visited Erbil and Sulaimani to participate in Newroz celebrations, a Kurdistan Region’s ministry said on Monday.

The Ministry of Municipalities and Tourism said in a statement that more than 100,000 people had visited the tourist areas in Erbil and Sulaimani provinces as of Sunday.

Over 52,000 tourists have entered Erbil while more than 50,000 others entered Sulaimani province, it added.

Most of the tourists have come from central and southern Iraq, according to the statement.

The tourism industry is reviving in the Kurdistan Region after a year of hardship due to coronavirus pandemic. In 2020, the Region’s revenue from tourism dropped by 75 percent due to measures taken against the virus outbreak.

Over the past two decades, the Kurdistan Region’s economy had been heavily reliant on the oil and gas sector, which has driven the Region’s development.

Kurdish authorities have been trying to diversify but the collapse of world oil prices had dealt a heavy blow.

In 2021, more than four million tourists visited the Region, according to the General Board of Tourism. Arrival of tourists increased by 525% compared to the last seven years, it added.

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