From 16 to 19 January 2014, the Vienna International Tourism Fair took place, where the Kurdistan Region of Iraq was presented as a travel destination to over 150,000 Austrian visitors and named by local media as the most unique destination from over 70 different countries.
The 4-day event, which takes place annually at the “Messe Wien” fairgrounds, is the largest of its kind in Austria with more than 725 international exhibitors. Participants showcase their destination with insider tips for planning trips of must-see places and things to-do, and share trends for the next holiday season.
This year marked the first time that the Kurdistan Region participated at the fair. Dr. Mustafa Ramazan, the Kurdistan Regional Government-Iraq Representative to Austria, was pleased with the outcome: “Our aim is to introduce the Kurdistan Region with its natural beauty, rich culture and welcoming people to the wider Austrian public. We are overwhelmed by the interest and positive responses we have received from visitors and co-exhibitors alike, and we are excited to be recognized as the most unique travel destination of the fair.”
“Our participation is the first step this year to promote the Kurdistan Region in Austria as a tourist friendly destination. We have additional activities planned throughout the next months, specifically to present Erbil as the Tourism Capital 2014 of the Middle East”, he continued.
The Kurdistan Region booth, which featured colourful decorations of Kurdish craftsmanship, delicious baklava, informational material, and German author’s Karl May’s famous book “An Adventure Through The Wild Kurdistan”, attracted a large number of interested visitors throughout the four days. Gift-bags were distributed that included post-cards, information about the Kurdistan Region, as well as CDs, maps, and instructions about the new Kurdistan Tourism smartphone app which were generously provided by the Kurdistan Board of Tourism.