Does “War Tourism” exist?

Flag of Iraq

The world has officially gone mad! There are now so many countries fighting with each other in various wars it makes travel a whole lot more dangerous, or should that be interesting?

Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq

Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq. Photo: Lupine Travel

I would never condone a person to travel directly into a war zone, however increasing numbers of tourists are drawn to more “risky” countries. For those who follow Travel Geek UK will already know that I visited Kurdistan in Iraq in 2014 (Read my article here), however this it wasn’t supposed to be the trip that it’s turning out to be.

When I booked the trip in April 2014, Iraq was relatively stable and Kurdistan hadn’t been previously part of any of the conflict. Sadly this all changed when the Islamic State made a push from Syria into Iraq.

I remember telling work colleagues when they asked where I’m off to on my summer holiday this year. When I uttered the words “Iraq”, they immediately laughed and thought I was joking. However, it seems the joke is on them as my trip is now confirmed.

So what attracts people to these places?

Well, I guess for me it’s being able to say, “Don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers.”

I like to be able to prove people wrong, finding amazing stories in difficult situations. However, if the Government advise against all travel to a specific location then travellers don’t have a choice but to not go, mostly due to travel insurance problems.

After visiting various places in Ukraine in April, I’m lucky enough to say so far I’ve not encountered any major war related incidents whilst travelling. Usually this happens once I’ve left, which makes me think i’m cursed.

A UK company called Hinterland Travel have run trips to Afghanistan, Pakistan and even Dagestan in Russia’s front line for the last 35 years. Is it right to visit these countries, or in fact any country at war?

Find out what I discovered in Kurdistan…read my article here.

Further Information

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2 thoughts on “Does “War Tourism” exist?

  1. G’day Travel Geek UK, we enjoyed reading your blog post on your upcoming visit to Kurdistan. I am sure you will have a great time. Despite the crisis outside of Kurdistan in Iraq, life goes on as normal for most Kurdish people. The prosperity, tolerance and incredible hospitality of the Kurds cannot be understated. Kurdistan remains safe and secure and we hope that it is only a matter of time until intrepid visitors once again consider a visit to this beautiful region on one of our award-winning small group tours with our UK and Canada/US travel partners. Best of luck!

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