"Except for the concussive sounds of 500-pound bombs being dropped on Mosul, there were few signs of war by the time we reached the most southwestern part of our journey through Iraqi Kurdistan. This was May 2017 and I was traveling with Harry Schute, a retired Army colonel turned part time tour operator, Balin Zrar our local guide, and a small band of wanderlusting friends to explore an area that only a few years earlier had barely fended off an ISIS onslaught.

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Travel writer Tim Neville discusses why you'd enjoy vacationing in northern Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

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Editor’s Note: This past December ATTA President, Mr. Shannon Stowell, interviewed Douglas Layton, cofounder of Kurdistan Iraq Tours LLC about adventure travel in Kurdistan and his own experience in the region. “As Douglas said, “We all know the media likes a scary story and violence sells. The problem is, Kurdistan is not in the middle of a violent war and there is nothing scary about the region.” Stowell, who visited Kurdistan in April of 2009 often remarks on how incredibly friendly the people of the region were to him during his visit.

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"Each year the Adventure Travel Trade Association seeks motivated tour operators who show a demonstrated potential for positive impact on local cultural, ecological or historical resources for the Tour Operator Scholarship program. This year the ATTA teamed up with Visit Greenland to offer three scholarships to early-stage adventure tour operators to attend the 2016 Adventure Travel World Summit (#ATWS2016) in Anchorage, Alaska, and gain access to the ATTA’s global network of over 1,000 members, membership resources and benefits.

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"Though the battle lines are less than three hours away, many Kurds insist family picnics must carry on."

See full article with great photos at: National Graphic, March 2016 edition.

 

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