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Iraqi Kurdistan Outstrips Others as Adventure Travel Destination

Unprecedented interest in Iraqi Kurdistan. Second Secret Compass expedition to the Zagros mountains announced.

Bristol, United Kingdom, February 13, 2014 --( On 19th April a second team of intrepid explorers aims to summit Iraqi Kurdistan’s highest peak, Mount Halgurd (3,607m) in the region’s stunning Zagros Mountains.

Secret Compass launched this second winter mountaineering expedition due to unprecedented interest in Iraqi Kurdistan; the first scheduled team filled up in record time.

Tom Bodkin, director of Secret Compass, said, “With over 50 applicants for 12 team places, we are thrilled to launch our second 2014 expedition to Iraqi Kurdistan – which may seem an unlikely tourist hot spot for some.

“The volume of applicants far outweighs that of our other expeditions to countries including Panama, Madagascar, Kamchatka and the Himalayas. It’s matched only by interest in our expedition to Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor.

“It’s encouraging to see so many people keen to discover this beautiful and legendarily hospitable region, and who understand that some parts of Iraq pose more threats than others.

“As former Parachute Regiment commanders in the British Army, we understand risk and take our team members’ safety and security incredibly seriously. Though our destinations are perceived as ‘edgy’, we do not go anywhere where genuine risk exists.”

Despite the threat of violence that overshadows Iraq, Kurdistan remains an autonomous region with no incidents targeting tourists or Westerners for over a decade.

Kerry O’Neill, marketing director of Secret Compass, said, “Adventure travellers come to us seeking pioneering destinations, world-firsts and the avoidance of tourist throngs.

“As many Britons head off to get jostled in expensive queues in the Alps, our winter mountaineering expedition team will probably have Mount Halgurd to itself!

“We hope that our team of adventurous travellers will return to share their tales, images and experiences to encourage others to explore this beautiful and oft-overlooked region."

Iraqi Kurdistan: Expedition Highlights
· Trek in an area steeped in history hosted by the hospitable Kurdish people.
· Explore an area with no tourist infrastructure.
· Help highlight Kurdistan’s potential, contributing to its fledgling tourism economy.

Secret Compass adventure travel and expedition destinations for 2014 include Panama, Iraqi Kurdistan, Madagascar, Siberia, Afghanistan, Arunachal Pradesh and Ethiopia.

For further press information, please contact

Iraqi Kurdistan expedition information:

Notes to Editors
Secret Compass is a pioneering expedition company creating world-first experiences for teams of like-minded adventurers. Through group and bespoke adventures, Secret Compass helps each team member achieve the extraordinary in the world’s wildest places. Founded by ex-British Army Parachute Regiment officers, its expeditions reach the planet’s most remote regions in the spirit of exploration’s earliest pioneers. Its highly trained professionals deliver well-planned and safe experiences, while encouraging daring leaps out of comfort zones. Secret Compass is passionate about returning tourism to post-conflict zones and emerging economies to stimulate local development and challenge preconceptions.

Specialist Film and TV services
Secret Compass also takes film crews, journalists and photographers to remote and previously inaccessible areas thanks to its unrivalled location management expertise. Clients to date include the BBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet and Channel 4, in countries from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan.
Press enquiries: 0203 2398 038
Contact Information
Secret Compass
Kerry O'Neill
+44 (0)7815896533

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