The UN Security Council has announced that it has removed eight companies, including the ‘General Establishments for: Hospitality Affairs and for Travel and Tourism Services, the Al-Huda State Company for Religious Tourism’ and others from the sanctions list established pursuant to Resolution 1518 (2003). The designations were made in 2004.
A World Bank report on the sector published in 2013 noted that
‘While it will require further political stability and security, tourism in Iraq stands to be a major growth sector. The Iraqi tourism sector is currently underdeveloped and in a state of neglect, due to decades of war, closed regimes and recurrent instability and insecurity. However, as Iraq continues to develop and stabilizes, it can begin to meet its tremendous potential as a global tourist destination, and gain the associated economic benefits.’
Much of the tourism seen in recent years has been religious tourism, with visitors, many from neighbouring Iran, attracted to shrines and mosques in places such as the holy city of Najaf (pictured). It has been reported, however, that the sector has been hit hard by the impact of a plummeting Iranian rial.
Details of the delistings are at: