The Katerji Group has signed a contract with the Syrian government to turn the site of Aleppo’s old military hospital into a tourist complex, highlighting the expansion of the sanctioned Katerji brothers -- Hussam and Baraa --  into the tourism sector.
A new hotel managed by the Katerji family opened its doors in Aleppo, highlighting the ambitions and influence of the family in the country’s northern city.
The Ministry of Tourism, which last week became the first Syrian ministry to be blacklisted by OFAC, has released data on the performance of some of the hotels under its management.
The Ministry of Interior issued around 182,000 passports in the first eight months of this year, of which 41,898 were for Syrians living abroad, according to a government official. Passports continue to represent a rare source of foreign currency for the government.
The government has signed two contracts for large investments in the tourism sector reminiscent of similar projects from the pre-2011 era. However, the significant deterioration of the business environment since that time raises doubts about their feasibility.
The Kuwaiti bourse blocked trading on shares of Marakez following a decision by that company to divest from a large project in the Syrian coastal area. Meanwhile, confusion also surrounds another large resort near Tartous.
Cham Palaces and Hotels, Syria’s largest five-star hotel chain, said its revenues increased last year, thanks largely to a rising number of foreign tourists.
The Ministry of Tourism has awarded a contract for the restoration of a historic building transformed into a hotel in the old city of Aleppo.
The number of foreign visitors entering Syria increased by 35 percent last year, coming overwhelmingly from the Arab world.
A Kuwaiti company is considering selling its stake in a large tourism project located on Syria’s coast.
A new hotel has opened in Damascus, another sign that Syria’s tourism industry is one of the country’s few sectors able to attract even limited private investment.
The Ministry of Tourism has announced that the profits it generated from the four main hotels it owns increased by 17 percent in the first eight months of the year.
UN agencies and other international organisations have reportedly renewed their contracts with the Four Seasons Hotel for the rental of office space and rooms.
Updated on September 12, 2009: A French hotel management group has reportedly signed a contract to manage two Syrian hotels, the first such contracts with western companies in the hospitality industry since 2011.
The Ministry of Tourism has announced that after seven years of suspension works have restarted on the Yasmeen Rotana Hotel owned by Rami Makhlouf.


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