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The National Association for Tourism Development in Syria Launches open-ended Initiative in Lattakia to Reactivate Tourism Sector

The National Association for Tourism Development in Syria has recently launched a voluntary initiative in Lattakia city and its countryside with the aim of reactivating the tourism sector and attracting the tourists’ to the most picturesque scenes in Lattakia countryside.

Shedding light on this initiative, which includes a number of workshops that were carried out in the province, Syriatimes e-newspaper interviewed Mrs. Sahar Hmaisheh, the executive director of the association in Lattakia. She said “Lattakia’s rich history and culture, its natural diversity as well as its historic and archaeological attractions have made the province an important tourist destination”.

She pointed out that with the aim of encouraging rural tourism,  the association has launched the initiative of hosting visitors from   other provinces or tourists from  Arab and foreign countries at the old rural houses in a number of areas  in Lattakia’s countryside including : Al-Bahlolieh, Al-Damat and Mshkita.

Mrs. Hmaisheh said that these old rural houses, especially in unknown areas,  offer tourism and environmental factors as well as distinguished sites where the tourists can carry out a number of activities including hiking, exploring , walks , traditional entertainment evenings and sampling traditional and heritage food products.

 “ This initiative  is a chance to enhance the economic capabilities of the villagers, reactivate social relations among residents and visitors in addition to reactivating heritage and traditional customs “ she expressed.

Within this framework a group of visitors from the provinces of Homes, Sweida, Tartous, Damascus and a tourist from Germany have been recently hosted for a week in Al-Damat village in Lattakia countryside where they shared with the villagers their rural activities, especially making traditional and heritage food products.

The executive director called for more support and offering services by the government and concerned sides to improve the living conditions of these areas and invest in small projects.

 “ I believe that supporting  promotion of  services and infrastructure is an integrated policy to encourage tourism because the people living in villages are capable of making a difference provided they are given the right support” Hmaisheh stressed.

The second workshop, which was also launched   by the association in Lattakia, was reviving handloom weaving through holding exhibitions containing artworks implemented on heritage loom.

Mrs. Hmaisheh highlighted that handloom weaving   is a traditional craft for which the Syrians have been famous for, for thousands of years

Under the title of “tourism is our wealth”, The National Association for Tourism Development in Syria in cooperation with Lattakia’s municipality has also launched the third voluntary youth workshop within the association’s initiative aiming to rehabilitate and restore some famous tourists and ancient places in the province.

According to Mrs. Hmaisheh this workshop aims at raising awareness about the importance of natural and architecture heritage and at protecting tourism and archaeological sites.

She indicated that the workshop targeted the rehabilitation and cleaning of main public squares and old places in Lattakia.

Mrs. Hmaisheh stressed this workshop comes after the reforestation campaign which the National Association for Tourism Development had carried out in Lattakia countryside.

She underscored the importance of such workshops in encouraging citizens to effectively participate in the maintenance of public utilities.



Interviewed by: Rawaa Ghanam

Photos by: Rawaa Ghanam..