Two days after being sanctioned by the European Union, Chams Wings, took part in one of the world’s largest tourism fairs, FITUR, held in Madrid. FITUR organisers said that “any presence of Chams Wings at the event is not a result of a contractual relationship with FITUR."
This month, the govement inaugurated a five-star hotel in Damascus and laid the foundation stones for three other projects in the capital and the coast, as it seeks to attract investment in a foreign currency-generating industry.
Two inteational tour agencies have recently restarted operations in Syria after the govement resumed authorising tourist visas for foreign travellers earlier this month. A company from the UK and another from Germany have advertised tours to Syria for later this year and into next year.
Profits of Syria’s state-owned hotels have increased during the first half of this year due to the depreciation of the national currency. The govement has continued to develop its domestic tourism as it searches for ways to replenish its depleted state coffers with foreign currency and to encourage investment.

The Katerji Group has signed a contract with the Syrian govement to tu the site of Aleppo’s old military hospital into a tourist complex, highlighting the expansion of the sanctioned Katerji brothers -- Hussam and Baraa --  into the tourism sector.


The Ministry of Interior issued around 182,000 passports in the first eight months of this year, of which 41,898 were for Syrians living abroad, according to a govement official. Passports continue to represent a rare source of foreign currency for the govement.


The govement has signed two contracts for large investments in the tourism sector reminiscent of similar projects from the pre-2011 era. However, the significant deterioration of the business environment since that time raises doubts about their feasibility.


Cham Palaces and Hotels, Syria’s largest five-star hotel chain, said its revenues increased last year, thanks largely to a rising number of foreign tourists.