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British, American tourists head to Iraq

As my recent FP web-exclusive predicted, Iraq has followed in the steps of Colombia in becoming a bona fide tourist destination. The first Iraqi-sanctioned tourist excursion to the country just concluded this Sunday — filled with U.S. and British tourists, including a 77-year-old pensioner. The trip has been going smoothly, though with a few adventures, ...

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US tourist David Chung (R) takes pictures for his fellow compatriot Joel Rawlins (R) under the Iraqi Arch of Triumph at Baghdad's al-Ihtifalat square in the Iraqi capital's heavily fortified Green Zone area on March 21, 2009. The first Western firm to bring a group of foreign tourists to Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion said on March 20, 2009 it will be back with more sightseers, despite having security difficulties on the trip. Security has improved dramatically since early 2008, although suicide attacks and bombings remain a daily occurrence. AFP PHOTO/ALI YUSSEF (Photo credit should read ALI YUSSEF/AFP/Getty Images)

As my recent FP web-exclusive predicted, Iraq has followed in the steps of Colombia in becoming a bona fide tourist destination.

The first Iraqi-sanctioned tourist excursion to the country just concluded this Sunday — filled with U.S. and British tourists, including a 77-year-old pensioner. The trip has been going smoothly, though with a few adventures, so to speak. “We’ve had security problems everywhere but we expected some of these,”  the managing director of the travel agency, Geoff Hann, told the AFP.

For now, it’s still a gamble. “My friends certainly think I’m a bit mad,”  one British tourist told the BBC. But I’m betting there are many others with precisely her style of mania who will be signing up Iraq tours soon. 

ALI YUSSEF/AFP/Getty Images

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