Tourism declined sharply during Iraq's occupation of Kuwait and the Gulf War. In 1998, 340,000 visitors arrived in Iraq, and tourist receipts totaled $13 million, down from $55 million in 1990. In 2000, 78,457 tourists visited Iraq. Many visitors from other Arab states are pilgrims to Islamic shrines. The other principal tourist attraction is visiting the varied archeological sites. Popular forms of recreation include tennis, cricket, swimming, and squash.
According to 1999 UN estimates, the cost of staying in Baghdad was approximately $100 per day. The cities of Dohok, Erbil, and Suleimaniyah required an estimated daily expenditure of $80.