Tourism… the cult of a society

When reading about a foreign delegation or other,  visiting  our country at this tough time,  in order to pinpoint history, features of deeply rooted prosperity,   as antiquities telling much about the past of this great country _ we stand proud.  We are standing in the face of those conspirators aiming to hit tourism sector right at the tourism season beginning. To begin with, they are seeking to abort people wishing to come to Syria, in order to deprive it of a supportive resource for national income.

At the moment, their main objective is defaming and discrediting Syria reputation, as a welcoming country with a hospitable and generous people, being a dream destination to a large number of tourists. For most Syrians facing such a fierce wave of hatred, and being subjected to such machination; was unimaginable.  But those  destruction scheme are no longer secret to anyone and does not require interpretation.

At May beginning, 2011 a French tourist who came to Syria in the midst of events, made a statement that triggered Syria's enemies. He literally said in his account which came in response to a correspondent of foreign agency: “We have not seen anything that disturbs tourism in Syria” with his mates confirmation that tourism sector in our country we must work in one way or another, to keep it away from ongoing events consequences, and are being exploited to undermine the Tourism Ministry efforts, and its new managing to protect tourist season and keep it away from being influenced by what has happened or is happening.

It is well known to tourism departments in Syria that most of foreign touristic groups, who are still coming, are French, British, and Germans, followed by Dutch, Australians. All aforementioned confirms the fact that Syria remains a central location as a crossroad to enter history from its largest gate. Hence lies the importance of this unique prehistoric site, not only for Syria, but for middle east countries as for the whole world. That’s why to pay attention to the need of making tourism a society culture and a national duty, so it will play an influential role, if embed in the people’s awareness whether working in the tourism sector or not. Since tourism revenues will fall back on everyone’s pocket directly or indirectly.

I do believe that the association of tourism with culture, as a general concept could be established at a national level, especially when efforts of concerned institutions combine to achieve such an equation. For instance,  cooperation between ministries of tourism, media,  culture, education, and economy to set instructive program to preserve historic sites from the ongoing events in the country. As well as other activities, like civil communities that could be listed under the title “Refreshing tourism is everyone’s responsibility” making that logo an integrated part of the Syrian culture.  Forming a society that respects tourists and puts all available capabilities to be Syria’s voice and image for all visiting countries.

Our imperative objective as Syrians is to reflect our true image as a warm, generous, deeply-rooted people. Then leaving tourists to tell what their conscience and morals dictate them to say, when returning homeland.

In Syria, we all know that history trace, cuisine aroma, people warm scent can be mapped out to thousands of kilometers.  A location that cannot be missed, or striped from its advantage and ability to spread all over the world despite all conspiracy attempts. 

Haifaa Mafalani     

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