The number of Kuwaiti tourists who visited Syria increased 15 percent in 2009, said a Syrian official.

Promotion director at the Syrian Tourism Ministry Dr. Ahmad Al-Yousef said that Saudi tourists increased about 18 percent and UAE and Bahrainis 15 percent. The number of foreign tourists ranged between 11 percent and 31 percent, he said. He added that most foreign tourists came from Turkey, Iran, Malaysia, Italy, France, Britain, Germany, Spain, Netherland, and Sweden.

Al-Yousef pointed out that the ministry completed preparations for the marketing campaign that will include street and television ads in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar, as well as ads on the internet.

According to a report issued by the Syrian Tourism Ministry, it is expected that tourists who will visit Syria in 2014 will be about 12 million.

The official said that Syria will take part in several travel exhibitions including events in Kuwait, Dubai in June, Riyadh, Bahrain, and Tunisia.

Each market requires a different message, he said, adding that the Italian market, for example, likes religious tourism, while the Germans are interested in culture.

The ministry announced that the number of tourists who visited Syria in 2009 increased 12 percent compared to 2008. The number of Gulf tourists increased 16 percent, Turkish tourists went up 32 percent, and Europeans increased 25 percent. The total number of tourists was 6.091 million, increasing 661,000 from the 5.430 in the previous year.
Source: KUNA