Eco-Tourism Feasibility Study, Kurdistan, Iraq
Kurdistan is a semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq that is safe, tolerant to other cultures, and rich with historic and natural resources. However, because it is located in Iraq, public perception is that it’s unsafe to visit. Visitors to the region are numerous but are primarily business related. Crane Associates was hired to conduct a market feasibility study of developing and marketing eco-tourism related products and services throughout Kurdistan. The work involved explorations of white-water rafting, backcountry skiing, mountain hiking, birding, and cultural tours. It also involved extensive interviews with relevant business owners and potential tour guides. The project was featured internationally on BBC, CNN and National Public Radio and drew the attention of international tour operators. The project resulted in a report to President Talabani’s office where detailed follow-up is occurring.