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Ministry of Tourism endeavors in 2021 to activate popular tourism and encourage investments

 The Ministry of Tourism focused its efforts during 2021 on revitalizing the internal and popular tourism movement, encouraging investments, and paying attention to training and rehabilitation to provide the sector with qualified and trained cadres that contribute to the reconstruction phase.

The ministry achieved profits worth 14 billion and 700 million Syrian pounds from its affiliated hotels. The total profits of the Syrian Transport and Tourism Company until the end of last September amounted to about 3 billion Syrian pounds, and the profits of the Syrian Arab Company for Hotels and Tourism amounted to about 1.5 billion Syrian pounds.

 

The state treasury was supplemented from the revenues of the tourism facilities owned by the ministry during 2021 with 11 billion Syrian pounds, of which 5.6 billion Syrian pounds are direct revenues and 5.5 indirect revenues from taxes and fees.

In the field of domestic and popular tourism, the ministry has implemented many projects that support and encourage popular tourism, including the implementation of wooden huts in Wadi Qandil in Lattakia governorate, the Karnak beach project and a site in the Abu Afsa area in Tartous governorate, and the Golan Tourism Park project on the Mantara Dam in Quneitra governorate.

With regard to tourism and hotel education and training, the Ministry worked to develop and update 36 new educational curricula in technical institutes for tourism and hotel sciences and hotel vocational high schools.

The Ministry created the Applied College of Tourism, in cooperation with the Ministry of Higher Education, the Virtual University, which includes a Bachelor’s Program in Tourism and Hotel Management, which is an academic program specialized in tourism and hotel management for the first time in Syria.

On tourism investment, the Ministry is preparing to hold the Tourism Investment Forum 2022, during which 40 investment opportunities will be offered with contracts owned by public authorities, popular organizations, professional unions and  private sector.

With regard to planning and international cooperation, the number of arrivals to the country during 2021 reached about 500,000, and the number of hotel guests was 900,000, including Syrians, Arabs and foreigners.

On the external level, the ministry participated in the 24th session of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization in the Spanish capital, Madrid, and the 47th  meeting of the Middle East Committee in Riyadh.

The Ministry also  participated in the symposium held by the European Center for Studies of Extremism in Cambridge, England, entitled (Ten Years of War in Syria), the Expo 2020 Dubai, the Syria National Day celebration, in addition to participating in the International Exhibition of Tourism Services in Minsk, Belarus.

The Ministry has also worked on organizing promotional events such as festivals and youth initiatives, in addition to sponsoring about 60 events in cooperation with various cultural, artistic, society and tourism bodies. It also held the International Flower Exhibition to encourage popular tourism and support small and micro projects in cooperation with Damascus Governorate.

Inas Abdulkareem

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