Damascus’ landmark Four Seasons Hotel is now the property of one of the country’s most powerful business cronies.
The award by the government of a prime investment location in Damascus has brought forward a new figure in the Syrian business community.
The Homs city council has signed a new management contract for the city’s only four-star hotel.
The Ministry of Tourism has offered for investment a large plot of land on the Mediterranean coast, which will likely go to regime linked figures and, possibly, Russian investors.
The issuance of Syrian passports continues to generate significant foreign currency revenues but to a lower extent than in previous years, according to a government official.
The Cham Hotels Group, the largest hotel operator in the country, has reported an increase in its revenues in the first half of this year, although they stand at only a fraction of their pre-uprising level.
The Ministry of Tourism has inaugurated a small tourist coastal resort in Lattakia, a rare event since 2011.
Cham Holding is expected to conclude a long-term agreement to develop a real estate project for the first time since the beginning of the uprising in 2011.
The Ministry of Tourism is looking at offering several incentives to attract investment in a sector that can generate significant foreign currency revenues for the Government.
The Ministry of Tourism said that arrivals increased markedly in the first quarter of this year, although it did not say how many of these visitors were actual tourists.
Hundreds of hospitality facilities continue to operate in Syria relying on domestic tourism, the Minister of Tourism has said, although revenues have fallen dramatically.
Only thirty-one countries worldwide still accept Syrians without imposing visas prior to their travel.
The Syrian government has more than doubled the taxes Syrians will pay to leave the country.
Looking for new sources of tax income, the Syrian government is now targeting the tourism sector.
Displaced Syrians and local tourists contributed to high occupancy rates in hotels on the Syrian coast, according to an industry executive.