Russian tour operators offer trips to Syria

Two companies began offering the tours, which include visits to seven Syrian cities with the Lebanese capital of Beirut as a starting point, according to a number of Russian media outlets.

The itinerary of the eight-day tours include the capital Damascus, the city of Aleppo and “the bride of the desert” – Roman Palmyra.

The cost of the tour starts at 1,950 US dollars which does not include plane tickets, visa fees or insurance.

But following media reports about the tours, the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism issued a recommendation to all tour companies to stop offering trips to Syria, and advised Russian tourists to avoid trips to the country until “the normalisation of the situation”.

‘Don’t mention the war’

The warning seems to have had a partial effect, as one of the operators, Kilimanjaro, removed its advert.

Kilimanjaro’s first excursion to Syria took place in October. The company had announced plans for another trip on 3 April 2020 on its website, before it took the decision to drop Syria from its list of destinations.

The Miracle tour operator’s first planned trip to Syria on 14 March 2020 is still on, according to the company’s website.

Its “Legends of the Middle East” tour description offers historical background of the places to be visited, but fails to warn prospective tourists about the potential dangers of visiting a country in the middle of a war.