Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraq is visited by five million tourists per year, a government official has said, noting that those come for both religious festivities and ancient sites.
Mahmoud al-Zubaidi, a general director at the tourism ministry, told state-run al-Sabah newspaper that procedural conflicts between the ministries of interior and foreign ministries, border crossings and tourist companies has led to a failure to “collect USD10 from each visitor, instead applying the charge to only 10 percent of those”.
According to Zubaidi, while there are 750 registered tourist and travel agencies, there had been 300 other “bogus agencies” which were closed across the country.
Iraq receives millions of Shia pilgrims every year who visit holy shrines in Najaf and Karbala.
Iraq’s economy has been severely affected by the war against Islamic State militants which lasted from 2014 and until the end of 2017.