The Kurdistan Region will hold its first snow festival on Korek Mountain, east of Erbil, aimed at attracting more winter tourists from neighboring countries and the rest of Iraq.
As many as 15 Iraqi and Iranian companies have been asked by Kurdish authorities to bring tourists for the festival on Friday afternoon. Tourists are expected to come from Iraq’s central and southern provinces where it rarely snows.
Organizers hope to make the festival a memorable event, promising “a surprise” for those who brave the cold weather and are prepared to enjoy a warm event in the heart of the mountains.
“We want it to be a surprise for the visitors. New things have been prepared for the event, in a way that it would attract even more visitors,” Mawlawi Jabar, the head of Kurdistan's tourism department, told Rudaw.
He declined to give more details, emphasizing the surprise element of the event.
The Kurdish mountains are popular tourist attractions in the spring and summer, drawing visitors from across Kurdistan region, the rest of Iraq, and neighboring countries. The Kurdish region wants to also invest in winter tourism, especially in the high mountainous areas that have spectacular views in the snowy season.
The festival is expected to become an annual event.