Syria promotes private investments in tourism sector
Syria has offered 64 investment projects in the tourism sector, to help meet the growing number of visitors according to AFP news agency. It is estimated that the number of foreign visitors to the country will reach 12 million by 2020, approximately five-fold today’s three million figure.
Syria’s Minister of Toursim, Kassem Makdad, has stated that 86 projects, mainly in the hotel industry, are currently under development in the country. In order to encourage foreign investments, the government changed its policy and now provides licenses within 15 days, whereas in the past, foreigners were forced to wait months, and even a year, for projects approvals due to bureaucracy and corruption.
The numerous number of historical sites makes Syria especially attractive to foreign visitors. However, the tourism sector is under-developed due to a lack of investments and continuous political instability mainly resulting from the country’s conflict with Israel. Tourism accounts for a mere 8.8-11.8 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. — (MENA Report)
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