Kurdistan tourism is a quickly flourishing industry. Compared to other countries and parts of the Middle East, Kurdistan is one of the safest places to travel. With the exception of Syria, all regions of Kurdistan offer gorgeous and historic attractions, with utmost safety. In 2014, the Arab Council of Tourism celebrated Kurdistan tourism by declaring Erbil the Arab tourism capital of 2014.
Turkish Kurdistan Tourism
With the resolution process progressing in the Kurdish region of Turkey, tourism is becoming more and more popular. The resolution process, also known as the peace process, refers to the government-led initiative aimed at ending the three-decade-long conflict between Turkey’s security forces and the outlawed PKK. The peace process in the Kurdish region of Turkey has helped boost the tourist flow to eastern and southeastern Turkish provinces that were roiled by violence in previous years, a report issued by Turkey’s top tourism organization has found, underlining the significance of peace amid tension on the country’s southern borders.
According to the “Resolution Process and Regional Tourism Report” released by the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB), the number of local and foreign tourists visiting the region reached 1.5 million in 2012, and surpassed 2 million in 2013. TÜRSAB Chairman Başaran Ulusoy said tourism was one of the main sectors providing employment opportunities to the region, underlining that the boost in the sector had already triggered investments in other industries and has also triggered a remarkable increase in air transportation to the eastern provinces.
There are numerous Kurdish and Turkic heritage and cultural sites in Southeastern Turkey including Cappadocia, Diyarbakır, Van, Hakkari, Yüksekova, Şemdinli, Doğubayazıt, Sason.
Iraqi Kurdistan Tourism
Iraqi Kurdistan is relatively safe, especially in the capital of Erbil. Iraqi Kurdistan has two international airports, one in Erbil and the other in Sulaymaniyah, providing direct flights from and to Kurdistan. There are several direct international flights from and to these two airports.
Erbil was appointed to be the 2014 Arab tourism capital by the Arab Council of Tourism, evidence of the city’s recent growth and modernization.