Umayyad-Mosque-Damascus-SyriaSyrian Ministry of Tourism on Saturday announced that the number of tourists who visited Syria increased in 2009 by 12 percent in comparison to 2008.

The Ministry pointed out that Syria was able to overcome the consequences of the global economic crisis as the number of tourists who visited the country increased by 12 percent.

According to the records of the Ministry of Interior 16 percent of the tourists who visited Syria in 2009 were Europeans while 32 percent were Turks.

6, 091, 889 foreign and Arab tourists visited Syria in 2009 in comparison with 5, 430, 181 tourists in 2008.

The Ministry said that the number of Arab and foreign tourists who visited Syria in 2009 without the Syrian expatriates was 5, 026, 952 tourists in comparison with 4, 471, 442 tourists in 2008.

The increase in the number of tourists in 2009 came as a result of promotion campaigns launched by the Ministry of Tourism during the last two years.

According to the estimates of the Ministry of Tourism, the number of the tourists who came from the Arab Gulf States increased by 18 percent in 2009 as it hit 764, 309 tourists in comparison with 659, 269 tourists in 2008.

The total number of the Arab tourists increased by 8 percent in 2009 as it reached 3, 590, 273 tourists in comparison with 3, 311, 010 tourists in 2008 .

The number of the European tourists who visited Syria in 2009 amounted to 772, 031 tourists in comparison with 618, 272 in 2008 with an increase of 25 percent.

25percent of the European tourists were from Italy, 25percent from France, 26 percent from England, 11 percent from Germany, 14 percent from Spain, 16 percent from Russia, 31 percent from Holland and 24 percent from Sweden.

The number of the foreign tourists in 2009 including the European ones reached 1, 436, 679 tourists in comparison with 1, 160, 433 tourists in 2008 with an increase of 24 percent.
Source: SANA