The number of tourists visiting Syria in the months after the beginning of the popular revolt last year declined by 64 percent compared to the same period of 2010, according to the Ministry of Tourism.
The Syrian President has granted investors in the tourism sector, the industry most affected by the political unrest, the possibility to reschedule the repayment of the loans they owe to state-owned banks.
The Ministry of Tourism is offering new properties for investment including the 4-star Jalaa Hotel on Mazzeh Motorway.
Works on a construction site for a large mixed-use project in the southern city of Suweida were inaugurated earlier this week.
Five Continents, a UAE hospitality company, has announced that it plans to open two properties in Syria in the next two years.
Arwad Tourism Company, a venture by several prominent local businessmen, has seen its contract to develop a 4-star hotel on the island of Arwad cancelled by the Ministry of Tourism, according to a local media.
Jumeirah Group, a UAE hotel management firm, has said that it was continuing forward with its project to manage a 5-star Hotel in central Damascus, as new estimates put occupancy rates in local hotels at 15 percent countrywide and at close to 0 percent in Aleppo.
The Damascus Governorate has issued a tender for the development of a sports and leisure complex in the upscale district of Kafr Sousseh on Build-Operate-Transfer basis.
The Ministry of Tourism has issued a tender to conduct the ”engineering studies” to set-up a tourism project in the Hamamat Al-Sheikh Issa area in the Idlib Governorate, northwest of Syria.
Bab Al-Faraj Tourism and Hotels, the company that owns the Sheraton Aleppo Hotel, is raising its capital by an additional SYP 52 million after it received the go ahead from the SCFMS.
Today, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office updated its Travel Summary for Syria and recommended the delay of non-essential travel to Syria.
The Ministry of Tourism has issued an international tender to conduct a Master Plan for an integrated tourist development area in the region of Palmyra.
The United States has issued a travel warning for Syria advising its citizens to defer non-essential travel and those living in the country to consider departing.
The relative competitiveness of Syria’s tourism sector fell sharply in 2010 according to a global survey conducted by the World Economic Forum. According to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2011, released lately by the WEF, Syria rankled 105th worldwide in terms of the competitiveness of its tourism sector down 20 ranks from only two years ago when it ranked 85th. 139 countries were surveyed this year.
Cham Hotels, the country’s largest hotel management chain, announced a slight increase in its 2010 profits to SYP 527 million, or USD 11 million, in spite of ongoing disputes with the Ministry of Tourism.