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Buyer's Guide

Nov. 17, 2010



By Greg Hazley

Think you've got a tough job in PR? Meet Hassan Taha Al Fayadh, manager of media relations for the Iraqi Tourist Board, who spoke with at the World Travel Market conference in London last week.

"Iraq was away from tourism sectors for more than three decades," he said, adding that the country's presence at the conference was to announce that "we're still here" and build toward the future.

Al Fayadh, who admitted the country is "not yet ready 100% to receive tourists" from around the world, said religious tourism is the bulk of the market right now as the country re-emerges on the global stage. He noted that air travel is growing and that German airline Lufthansa will start flights to Baghdad next month.

"I think within the next, say, five years Iraq will be ready to receive groups from around the world," he said.

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