Economy News Baghdad:
The foreign currency drain in Iraq continues through overseas travel agencies, while an Iraqi government official said Iraq had lost $ 705.6 million last year because of foreign air carriers.
The head of the Tourism Authority, Mahmoud al-Zubaidi, told the "Economy News" that "the number of licensed tourism companies in Iraq is 700 companies and is continuously monitored by the Commission." He pointed out that "the internal tourist facilities accommodate citizens wishing to spend the Eid holiday."
He pointed out that "it is natural that citizens leave to many countries for the holiday holiday and this is not a drain on foreign currency and gets in all countries of the world," explaining that "5 million foreign tourists enter Iraq annually spend between 600 - 800 dollars."
On the other hand, Maher al-Rubaie, director of Al-Nabras in Baghdad, told the "Economy News" that "most tourist companies operating in Iraq began to offer tourist trips to visit foreign countries for different amounts ranging from $ 400-1600 dollars," noting that "tourism "The interior has begun to grow very significantly with the Eid al-Adha holiday."
He added that "many facilities granted by the countries to the Iraqis include increasing the discount rate in the reservation of flights and hotels to 50%."
Hossam al-Asadi, a member of the tourism companies for "Economy News", said that "the tourist companies take the system of Block Seat") located in some airlines, which means the reservation of certain seats for a period of time specified half the value, "stressing that" this system does not exist Iraqi Airways, which is considered a national carrier. "
Al-Asadi explained that "airlines also give tourism kroppings a discount that sometimes reaches $ 100 per passenger." "Tourist companies also book hotels in countries with half the value in addition to renting tour guides."
He pointed out that "the profits achieved by tourism companies for each individual of $ 50," noting that "the number of tourism program up to 100 people."
He pointed out that "tourist companies mostly organize tourism programs to countries that do not require a visa from Iraqis to get rid of security checks."
On the other hand, an official source in the Iraqi government declined to be named for "Economy News", "The losses of Iraqi Airways during the past year amounted to 705.6 million dollars, because foreign carriers are controlling the Iraqi market," noting that "Iraqi carriers Controlled 27% of the market while foreign carriers controlled 73%. "
He pointed out that "the transfer of pilgrims and pilgrims to Saudi Arabia is through foreign carriers and this is a great loss to the Iraqi economy."
In the meantime, Professor of Economics at the University of Mustansiriya, Abdul Rahman Mashhadani told "Economy News", "Iraq is not benefiting from the recovery that takes place in tourism companies because tourism is outside the country and not inside," stressing that "foreign tourism is one of the doors to drain Hard currency ".
He added that "the Arab and foreign countries began to grant facilities to bring Iraqi tourists to move their economy," noting that "the Iraqi government did not do internal tourism because of routine procedures and financial and administrative corruption."
He stressed that "Iraqi Airways did not benefit from foreign tourism because flights are not and will not be on the lines, but on the lines of countries to which the Iraqis go."
On the other hand, the economic expert on the Sudanese Chihod told "Economy News" that "foreign tourism represents a drain on the economy because of the increase in the volume of tourists' spending, which amounts to more than a thousand dollars," noting that "the exit of foreign currency will not serve the country, "In the past, Iraqis preferred domestic tourism, which was disrupted by complex procedures by local governments, lack of interest in tourist sites and lack of entertainment for families and children."
He added that "Iraqis are beginning to prefer foreign tourism because the attractive prices offered by tourism companies encourage them to get rid of the concerns they live every day," noting that "some families spend large amounts of up to five thousand dollars on foreign tourism."
He stressed that "Iraqi Airways, as the national carrier, did not provide tourism programs and offers easy to be able to increase profits."
He pointed out that "the airlines of neighboring countries began to capture most of the Iraqi travelers because of cheap prices and good services provided by food and drink."
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