More than 127,000 tourists visited Erbil during Eid al-Adha

Locals and tourists visit Gali Ali Bag waterfall which lies some 130 km north of Erbil. (Photo: General Board of Tourism)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — More than 127,000 tourists have visited Erbil during Eid al-Adha, according to the tourism directorate.

The General Directorate of Tourism in Erbil said as many as 127,432 tourists had entered the province through the border crossings during the four day of Eid al-Adha holiday, started on Tuesday.

Authorities in Sulaimani said on Friday that nearly 85,000 tourists had visited the province between July 15 and 23.

More than 700,000 tourists have visited Sulaimani in the past six months, according to the general directorate of tourism in Sulaimani.

In the past days, Kurdish health officials warned of rapid spread of coronavirus, in particular the Delta variant.

As of Saturday, the Kurdistan Region had registered 211,828 coronavirus cases, including 4,675 deaths, according to figures released by the health ministry.

Despite the surge, authorities have eased measures once taken to contain the virus outbreak.

The tourism industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus in the Kurdistan Region. 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.

The tourism sector formed a key part of the diversification plans, injecting about $1.5 billion into the Region’s economy in 2019, according to Nadir Rosti, spokesman of the tourism directorate.

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