Syria is slowly returning on the tourist map
For the first time since the civil war, western travel companies are offering trips to Syria again. One of them is the Dutch travel agency CultureRoad, which is responding to an increasing demand for this special destination. Especially post-COVID, the numbers of inquiries to unique and unusual destinations are increasing at a rapid pace.
Syria was one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Middle East before the civil war broke out. About 6 million tourists used to visit the country every year, like popular places such as Damascus, Palmyra , Aleppo and Crak des Chevaliers. Tourism came to an immediate standstill at the start of the civil war. While many destinations have been known as beautiful places to visit, they suddenly became associated with war.
Things have been relatively peaceful in most of Syria for almost 5 years now, and tourism is slowly picking up again. Rik Brinks, owner of CultureRoad, sees a growing demand among travelers to visit Syria. “Often our travelers want to experience what Syria is like nowadays. For years the country was known as a tourist hotspot, and now you have a chance to experience most of these places to yourself. Our close contacts with local and experienced guides prove that it is possible to embark on this beautiful adventure.” Also the local Syrians welcome tourists again, Brinks notes: “All over the country you are warmly welcomed, people are both curious and proud that tourists are returning to their country. Ofcourse, there is still a long way to go, but there are so many wonderful places to see with our highly skilled guides.”
Besides Syria, Brinks also notes that there is a general interest for adventurous destinations. “Since the end of the latest Corona wave, we have noticed that many travelers have expressed interest to visit destinations where mass tourism has not yet arrived. With the destinations we bring you to, you can actually take photos without a huge crowd of other tourists in the background. And we notice that travelers are looking for that one undiscovered place for a truly unique experience. The pandemic has fueled this desire even more,” said Brinks.