Tourism in Syria: Is It A Safe Destination?

Syria: Is It A Safe Travel Destination?

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

When someone mentions Syria to me, I unconsciously think of death, destruction and fleeing refugees. However, this story wasn’t a run of the mill Syrian article.  The piece in question was about the fact that the government have decided to promote tourism in Syria through the release of a video, entitled: ‘Always Beautiful’.

Instability

I’ve never travelled to Syria and, mostly due to the instability, it’s not somewhere I’ve ever given much consideration.  I’ve previously travelled to Egypt and Turkey, but never any further.  I tried to travel to Jordan and Israel the last time I visited Egypt, but it was deemed too unsafe at the time and our plans were scrapped.
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Anyway, the video for tourism in Syria focuses on 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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Tourism in Syria: Is It A Safe 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.  Everyone was in total agreement on how beautiful Syria is. However, some were aghast at the fact their country is spending money promoting itself to tourists at the expense of helping 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 are they simply trying to promote tourism in Syria and try to claw back lost revenue?
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I recently viewed a video on Facebook which showed the capital, Aleppo.  It depicted before and after viewpoints of how the city looked pre and post-invasion. The contrast is truly heart-wrenching. And if you consider the damage to the buildings,  you consider the innocent people who’ve literally been bombed out of them.
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Tourism in Syria: Is It A Safe Destination?
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Yes or No?  

I’m not interested in beach holidays, so the Syrian promotional video did nothing for me in that sense.  I live on the coast and I’m surrounded by beaches. However, it was the Syrian countryside  I was awed by.
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I’ve worked with numerous tourism organisations and no one EVER highlights the bad bits of their country. That goes without saying.  However, skirting over an inner city drug problem, or failing to highlight you’ll get mugged if you roam late at night is a *touch*  different from failing to mention a civil war.
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In saying that, I still can’t quite make up my mind about the tourism in Syria video. I’m veering towards thinking it’s the normal workings of a government, functioning in extreme difficulty.  Let’s face it, if there wasn’t a war raging, the video would have been a smash.  Syria is undoubtedly stunning and packed with history.
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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 did the video make you think about Syria for your next vacation?
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Suzanne x

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About sightseeingshoes 245 Articles
Hi, I'm Suz. I love travelling (obvs..), dogs, shoes and wine, although not necessarily in that order. I'm originally from Scotland, but now live in Snowdonia in North Wales with my husband and a seriously large shoe collection.

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