During the year 2022, the indicators of the tourism sector witnessed a remarkable gradual improvement in the various aspects of work compared to previous years, as several laws were issued that contributed to improving the quality of tourism services, and organizing and linking education outputs to the labor market.
Projects and forums related to the development of tourism investment that were implemented during the year 2022:
The Tourism Investment Forum was held, which presented 25 investment projects and 16 promotional opportunities for projects of public agencies, popular organizations and trade unions.
Opening projects owned by public sector entities, including 5-star hotels.
– Completion of the Karnak Beach Expansion Project for popular tourism (Site A project in Dream Beach, which has been allocated as a popular open beach in Tartous Governorate).
Experimental opening of several heritage and hotel projects at different levels in the governorates of Damascus, Aleppo, Tartous and Homs.
Achieving the contractual financial balance for 9 tourism projects, as the average increase in investment allowances at the annual minimum for projects reached 13 billion Syrian pounds.
43 tourism establishments entered service at an investment cost of 250 billion pounds, while the number of tourism establishments that obtained a construction license reached 12, at an investment cost of 835 billion pounds.
Licensing 3 tourism facilities according to the BOT formula, and the number of licensed tourism training centers has reached 8, accommodating 983 male and female students.
– Hotels owned by the Ministry of Tourism (Dama Rose – Sheraton Damascus – Shahba Aleppo – Lamira Resort) achieved revenues of approximately 11.1 billion Syrian pounds during the year 2022.
In the field of domestic and popular tourism projects during the year 2022:
Allocating 3 billion Syrian pounds in the ministry’s investment budget for the year 2023, to complete the implementation of its plan to develop popular domestic tourism projects that were previously initiated.
The implementation of the two tranches project (C and E) in Tartous, the Zarzar Lake Park project in Damascus countryside, and the Golan Tourist Park project on the Mantara-Quneitra Dam by the Syrian Company for Transportation and Tourism.
– Laying the foundation stone for the property site 94 Hmeimim-Jableh, the foundation stone for the traffic reservation garage site in Damascus, and for the property 748 site in the Hijaz.
In the field of education, tourism development and securing job opportunities during the year 2022:
– Working on completing the comprehensive tourism education and training map within the tourism sector plan 2020-2030, and completing projects for building and constructing technical institutes and hotel schools in the governorates, which numbered 8 institutes and 17 schools.
Modernizing technical equipment and training programs and opening the Hotel Vocational School in Homs, and putting it into service with a capacity of about 600 students.
Completing the implementation of the construction and cladding of the hotel school building project in Aleppo, where the completion rate reached 70 percent.
Completion of rehabilitation projects for schools and tourism and hotel institutes, which are in service in Tartous, As-Suwayda, Deir Ezzor and Lattakia.
Holding a forum (job opportunities), in cooperation between the Ministries of Tourism and Social Affairs and Labor, to secure job opportunities for graduates of tourism faculties, institutes, hotel schools and licensed training centers.
Tourist arrivals during 2022:
The number of Arab and foreign arrivals to Syria has reached nearly 1.8 million, with a growth rate of 141 percent over the year 2021.
The estimated number of Arab, foreign and Syrian guests reached 1 million hotel guests during the year 2022.
The total number of tourists coming within the tourist groups reached approximately 180,000 visitors (estimated number) for the year 2022.
In the field of internal and external tourism promotion during the year 2022:
The Ministry of Tourism participated with a number of hotels, offices and tourism companies in the Arabian Travel Market ATM exhibition in Dubai 2022, and the (Vitor) exhibition in Spain.
The Ministry, along with the Authority for Excellence and Creativity, participated in the activities of the First World Youth Tourism Summit, organized by the World Tourism Organization and the Italian Ministry of Tourism in the Italian town of Sorrento.
Participation in the meetings of the extraordinary session of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization in Madrid, Spain.
Organizing the flower exhibition with the participation of 196 local and international exhibitors, in conjunction with organizing the Coast Flowers exhibition in Lattakia.
Implementation of several activities on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Ministry of Tourism and on the occasion of World Tourism Day.
Participation, in coordination and cooperation with the concerned authorities, to implement the Citadel and Valley Festival in Homs Governorate, the event (Our Heritage is Our Originality and Our Pride), the event (The Maker of Generations in the Fragrant History), the two events (Afamia Art and Legend) and (Mahrada, the City of the Sun) in Hama, and the Kassab Festival in Lattakia.
Participation in a number of internal events, including: the Central Forum for Sculpture, Painting, Photography and Handicrafts, Smile of Amal Shopping Festival, Photo Gallery, Children’s Drawing Forum entitled (The Joy of Homeland in Syrian Children’s Drawings), Akito Festival (Old Syrian New Year), Reconstruction Exhibition Syria, the Arab Clubs Championship for Cycling and the Tishreen Trails in Lattakia, the activities dedicated to the wounded heroes of the Syrian Arab Army, which were organized by the Jarih Al Watan Office in Tartous, the Damascus International Marathon.
Implementation of promotional films and photo tours to many important tourist areas.
International and local tourism cooperation during the year 2022:
Signing a memorandum of understanding with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and a tourism cooperation agreement with the Republic of Crimea.
Signing memorandums of understanding with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor in the field of training and rehabilitation and linking young people to job opportunities available in the tourism sector, and with the Youth Support Development Foundation in the field of holding non-profit tourism and hotel training courses to develop the capabilities of young people, and with the Arab Federation of Productive Families and Traditional Craft Industries to advance The reality of the traditional and heritage industries in Syria according to the approved international quality standards, and with the Excellence and Creativity Authority to establish the Syrian Youth Tourism Forum 2023.
Laws and legislation issued during the year 2022 to regulate the tourism sector:
The issuance of Law No. 23 of 2022 regulating the work of tourism establishments, and related to improving the quality of tourism services and monitoring them, controlling and deterring violations, collecting the rights of the state’s public treasury, and matters related to linking the outputs of tourism education to the labor market.
The issuance of Law No. 28 of 2022 on the tourist registry, which includes in its articles that the tourist registry replaces the commercial registry in representing all work sites, including accommodation and feeding facilities, tour operators, tour guides and all tourism work sites.
Issuance of Service Charge Law No. 18 of 2022, to regulate the collection of service fees from the investor.
– The issuance of Law No. 31 of 2022 amending Law No. 2 related to the creation of institutions, tourist agencies and offices, and the investment of tourism work sites, where the value of the financial guarantee for tourism work sites was raised, and it ranged between five million Syrian pounds and twenty million pounds, as well as raising the value of fines as a result of violations Within these laws, the proceeds are returned to the public treasury of the state.
Sakina Mohamed and Gemma Ibrahim
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