The historical city of Babylon is located approximately 90 km south of Baghdad, and 10 km north of Hilla. Babylon, of the heavenly books, has recently suffered from a lack of tourists.
Babylon’s director of antiquities, Hussein Al-Ammari, believes this is the result of recent excessively hot summers, in addition to the coronavirus pandemic. Rafe Aziz, a tourism specialist, proposes the construction of new hotels to counter the issue: “If new hotels are established, the tourism movement can be greatly stimulated bringing economic benefits to the province.” Aziz added, “The governorate could have benefited greatly from the establishment of cultural events, if there were tourist hotels in the governorate, but the lack of accommodation reduces the financial benefits of holding said events.”
The archaeological city of Babylon is the sixth Iraqi archaeological area to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage list, among the southern marshes, the city of Hatra, Samarra, Assyria and the citadel in Erbil.
The antiquities of Babylon were on the UNESCO World Heritage List prior to the organisation’s de-listing of them in the late eighties as a result of the former Iraqi government’s manipulation of the artefacts. In July 2019, UNESCO re-listed the city.