Syria says number of Arab tourists up by 70%
Syria's Minister of Tourism, Dr. Saadallah Agha Qalaa, announced that the number of Arab tourists, who visited the country during the first half of 2004 rose by 70% compared to the same period of 2003, while the number of foreign tourists went up from 85,000 to 141,000 during the said period.
In an interview with SANA, Qalaa indicated that the number of Arab tourists increased to 890,000 during the first half of the current year from just 523,000 in the same period of 2003.
He added that the total number of tourists rose from 1,600,000 in the first half of 2003 to 2,600,000 in the same period of this year.
Qalaa added that new procedures have been adopted in order to facilitate granting visas free of charge to foreign tourists upon their arrival in Syria.
The tourism ministry continues to exert efforts to expand the capacity of hotels and since 2001 the number of beds has increased by 5% compared with only to 2% during 1970 - 2002. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)