Geotourism potential of Akre area, Duhok Governorate, Iraqi Kurdistan Region

Author : Irfan Sh. Asaad, Sardar M. Balaky
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 99 - 112
Volume Number : 71
Year : 2021

Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 71, May 2021, pp. 99 – 112

Geotourism potential of Akre area, Duhok Governorate, Iraqi Kurdistan Region

Irfan Sh. Asaad1,*, Sardar M. Balaky2

1 Department of Geology, College of Science, Salahaddin University-Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan Region
2 Department of Petroleum Geosciences, Faculty of Science, Soran University, Iraqi Kurdistan Region
* Corresponding author email address :

Abstract: Geotourism potential of Akre district in Duhok Governorate, Kurdistan region, northern Iraq is studied in detail. Sixteen geotourism sites were investigated, which are divided into three sub-areas according to their geographical positions. All the tourism sites are located in the northern mountainous part of the High Folded Zone due to their variations from the southern part (Low Folded Zone) in geology, geomorphology, hydrology and tectonic settings. Based on comparison with the Potential Touristic Use (P.T.U) characters, most of the studied geosites have medium correspondence with the P.T.U characters, except three sites i.e. Sipa Akre waterfall, Kani Zark spring and Sipa Bjeel waterfall that have good correspondence. This is because they are reachable by pavement roads and can be easily managed and developed by the local people, in addition to their magical landscapes. The Gali Zenta and Guske resorts have very clear geological elements, particularly the famous massive bitumen seeps within the Zenta valley, and this make their correspondence to the P.T.U characters acceptable despite having bad roads and not progressing very well. The Dinarta sub-area geosite, in spite of its specular view and adaptation for tourism vacancy, has low to medium correspondence to the P.T.U characters due to having the worst roads, and are not developed by any local investors and governments in addition to property problems and remoteness from environmental and cultural sites. H2S rich springs are neglected in the whole Kurdistan region although they have a high economic value by way of balneotherapy. Therefore, the Bekhma and Heshtka hot springs has obtained a very low ratio. The mountainous and caves sites also obtained a low ratio, as the mountain landscapes are neglected particularly for winter tourism, and lack of investment for cave tourism, respectively.

Keywords: Geotourism, Iraq, Kurdistan, Akre, P.T.U.