Elderly tourists visiting Iraq on guided tours

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Elderly tourists visiting Iraq on guided tours

Some peoples stupidity knows no bounds. These guys would be sitting ducks for any extremist jihadi group. Apparently the Iraqi Kurds are building Amusement parks as well! The potential for explosive fun is huge.

AN Australian travel company is planning to take a group of wealthy Australian retirees to northern Iraq on a luxury holiday, despite federal Government warnings to stay away.

Far Horizons specialises in taking older, well-to-do Australians to remote, exotic and sometimes dangerous destinations.

The company will take up to 18 Australians on a 24-day tour, including nine days in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) warns Australians not to travel to Iraq, but Martin Wright,who founded Far Horizons in 1976, is unfazed.

"If we took notice of DFAT, we wouldn't be in business,'' he told The Sunday Telegraph.

Mr Wright was speaking from northern Iraq, where he was meeting with the region's Tourism Minister and various hotel and tourist operators.

He argued that the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq should be classified separately from the rest of the country by DFAT.
... Quote:
I understand the Government has to err on the side of caution, but its warnings can be frustrating.

The people who went on his five-star tours, which average $20,000 a pop, were not ``nervous'' types.

They are normally retired professionals with an average age of about 70. They have been to all the popular destinations and want something a little more unusual. We are not frivolous about security, and would never dream of going anywhere if we thought it would put our clients in danger.

He said two people had already booked a place on the $23,000 tour, despite the itinerary not being finalised.
The Iraqi Government has singled out tourism as a potential post-war growth industry.

Earlier this year, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki opened a new airport in the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf, hoping to foster in a boom in religious tourism.

More than nine million pilgrims visit the shrine of Imam Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed, in the southern city and other holy sites nearby each year, and planners hope the airport will increase visitor numbers 10 per cent annually.

In Baghdad, construction has begun on luxury hotels and there is a push to attract foreign investors who are keen to get in early as the country recovers from devastating years of conflict.

However, in the north of the country, the transformation into a tourist hub is even more advanced, with Iraq's Kurdish minority building hotels and opening amusement parks.

By netchicken: posted on 3-11-2008

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