While it will require further political stability and security, tourism in Iraq stands to be a major growth sector. The Iraqi tourism sector is currently underdeveloped and in a state of neglect, due to decades of war, closed regimes and recurrent instability and insecurity. However, as Iraq continues to develop and stabilizes, it can begin to meet its tremendous potential as a global tourist destination, and gain the associated economic benefits. Long a destination for pilgrims, non-religious tourism has already begun, albeit in low numbers. In 2008, 5,000 tourists from the United Kingdom, Germany, and Ukraine visited Iraq. A more developed tourism sector in Iraq will play an important role in diversifying Iraq's economy and providing new private sector jobs, both in major cities and beyond. Iraq's construction sector will also benefit directly from the building of hotels, museums, restaurants, and other attractions as well as needed infrastructure enhancements.
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