Syria: Is It A Safe Travel Destination?

Syria: Is It A Safe Travel Destination?

‘I was recently reading travel news, as I often do, and stumbled upon an article promoting of various types tourism in Syria…’

When someone mentions Syria to me, I unconsciously think of death, destruction and fleeing refugees.  However, this wasn’t a run of the mill story about Syria.  The article in question was about the fact that the Tourism Board of Syria had released a new video, entitled: ‘Always Beautiful’.

Instability

I don’t claim to know much about Syria as I’ve never been. It’s not somewhere that I’ve ever given much consideration.  I’ve previously travelled to Egypt and Turkey, but never any further. This is likely due to instability in the region.  This is the same reason I didn’t make it to Jordan and Israel the last time I visited Egypt.  It was deemed to unstable and I was advised not to.
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The short video focuses on Syria’s beautiful beaches, palm trees sun and jet skiing.  What it doesn’t focus on, obviously, is the civil war that’s been raging through the nation for the past few years.
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Syria: Is It A Safe Travel Destination?
The site at Palmyra, which has been ravaged by war.

Opinions 

The video has divided opinions; particularly amongst Syrians. Twitter exploded with diverse views from residents.  They were in total agreement of how beautiful Syria is, but some were aghast at the fact their country is spending money promoting itself to tourists at the expense of the their own people.
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It’s certainly an interesting debate. Should Syria’s government abandon every other facet of their economy in order to gain back control of their country?  Or do they understand that other aspects of life in Syria still need to go on?
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I recently viewed a video on Facebook which showing the capital, Aleppo.  It showed a before and after viewpoint of how the city looked prior to the invasion and just how completely ravaged it is now.  The contrast is truly shocking.  And if you consider the damage to the buildings, the you think about the innocent residents who have literally been bombed out of them.
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Destination Syria?
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Yes or No?  

I’m not someone who’s interested in beach holidays, so the Syria promotional video does nothing for me.   I live next to the beach, although my weather is a wee bit different, my country isn’t at war. The scenery and countryside is incredible, though.
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I have worked with numerous tourism organisations over the years and no one EVER advertises the crap parts of their area. This goes without saying.   However, skirting over an inner city drugs problem; or failing to highlight you’ll get mugged if you roam late at night is a *touch* different from ignoring a civil war.
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Still, in saying that, I still can’t quite make up my mind about the video. I’m veering towards thinking it’s the normal workings of a government trying to function, despite extreme difficulty.
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What do you think of the story?  Should Syria be concentrating on its own people before reaching out and inviting others in?   Or would you happily consider spending a late summer holiday there?
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Suzanne x

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