The Minister of Tourism, Eng. Mohamed Rami Martini, revealed in a press conference that there are dozens of requests submitted by people and tourist groups in European countries to visit Syria at the ministry’s table. It is expected that 2022 will be the best tourist year after the years of war, as there were encouraging signs for the return of tourist groups in 2019, but it stopped due to The repercussions of the Corona epidemic.
In the conference held today at the Ministry of Information, Minister Martini pointed out that there are great opportunities for tourism investment in Syria that will secure employment for more than 100,000 people until 2030, and that there are 40 projects that will be presented at the Tourism Investment Forum next year, which are for public bodies, including the Ministry of Tourism, city councils and some organizations Noting that among these projects are 8 major investment opportunities.
The Minister of Tourism indicated that the ministry has adopted a plan for the next 10 years with the aim of developing the tourism sector, and that attention is currently focused on popular tourism and the return of cultural tourism, stressing that the ministry seeks to restore the tourism sector’s developmental role and contribute to building the national economy, generating job opportunities, strengthening the civilized image of Syria and restoring its position. As a destination in the regional and global tourism map.
According to Minister Martini, the number of Arab and foreign people who visited Syria during the current year reached 488,000 people who booked about 1,200,000 hotel nights, bringing the profits of hotels affiliated with the Ministry of Tourism to more than 5 times than it was last year and to reach 14 billion pounds out of 30 billion pounds Revenues.
Regarding the results of the last tourism investment forum, which was held in 2019, Minister Martini explained that 9 contracts of the forum’s projects were signed, and that 3 projects were proposed outside the forum, at an investment cost of 303 billion liras, providing 4,000 to 4,500 job opportunities, noting that the ministry is in the process of preparing for holding the Tourism Investment Forum. In 2022, after it was postponed due to the Corona pandemic, it is also studying faltering projects with the aim of addressing them and achieving the contractual financial balance for them, as it concluded the conclusion and ratification of appendices to some contracts.. The other is in progress.
The Minister of Tourism stated that the ministry will present faltering projects at the forum and provide them with financing, a partner or an investment, stressing that 70 percent of these projects have returned to work after the Syrian Arab Army restored security and stability to the areas in which they were established.
Regarding the tourist licenses granted in 2021, Martini pointed to the licensing of 6 accommodation facilities and 125 catering facilities, achieving 1,316 job opportunities, bringing the total number of establishments to 2,332, including 417 accommodation facilities and 1,915 catering facilities.
On the level of popular tourism, Minister Martini stated that the projects of the Syrian Transport and Tourism Company included the expansion of the wooden huts project in the Qandil Valley area, the open beach in the Shaab pool in Lattakia governorate, the Karnak beach project and a tourist site in the Abu Afsa area in Tartous governorate, in addition to the Golan Tourism Park project on the Mantara Dam in the Quneitra governorate. Pointing out that the company has moved from loss to profit and has begun to regain its role, as it is preparing to contribute to securing transportation between governorates with a new fleet and reasonable prices.
Minister Martini stated that the ministry has worked over the past two years on 6 popular tourism projects that have achieved profitable returns, and is seeking, with the Ministries of Oil and Mineral Resources and Electricity, to secure the minimum requirements for these projects to remain operational.
Regarding the work that the ministry is currently doing, Minister Martini indicated that it is working in cooperation with Syrian expertise, organizations and friendly countries to restore well-known and archaeological markets, as three out of five markets have been restored, and there are four markets under study in Old Aleppo out of 18 markets that were partially damaged by terrorism, pointing out He indicated that work is underway on the issue of road rest houses, as a decision was issued to organize and supervise them in cooperation with the Small Projects Authority to be model rest houses.
With regard to tourism promotion, Minister Martini confirmed that the ministry is working with all friendly countries to promote tourism through its participation in foreign exhibitions, the latest of which was Expo 2021 in Dubai. to investment promotion.
Minister Martini said the Chinese state provides technical cooperation in all fields and we call on it to invest in tourism in Syria, stressing that the ministry has provided all facilities for arrivals within the framework of the Syrian health protocol and is responsible for ensuring comfortable and safe accommodation within the internationally applicable health conditions.
According to Martini, despite the exchange rate differences and the repercussions of the unjust economic siege on Syria, the tourism product is relatively cheaper compared to other countries, pointing to the negative impact of the repercussions of unilateral coercive economic measures on the possibilities of renewing tourist facilities, which the ministry seeks to find solutions for.
With regard to tourism and hotel education, the minister explained that the year 2021 witnessed the opening of the Technical Institute for Tourism and Hotel Sciences in the Qudsaya suburb of Damascus countryside, with a capacity of 600 students. Hotel and hotel professional high school.
Sakina Muhammad and Gemma Ibrahim