Syria: Number of tourists up in 2010

Published January 24th, 2011 - 12:52 GMT

The number of foreign tourists coming to Syria in 2010 amounted to 8.5 million, registering an increase of 40 percent compared to 2009. The Syrian Tourism Minister Saadallah Agha Al-Qala was quoted as saying 4.6 million tourists came from Arab countries in addition to 1.5 million Syrians living abroad. A total of 2.3 million tourists came from other countries.

The minister said that the government investments in the tourism sector rose last year by 9 percent. The Syrian government plans for the next five years to attract a huge foreign investment to the amount of US$ 55 billion to develop the tourism sector. This seems quite unrealistic as the value of foreign direct investments to Syria during the last year reached only US$ 2.5 billion.

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