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Travel agent plans to send tourists to Syria, and battlefront

Worst idea ever? Dark tourism reaches a new low

Russian travellers are an ever-growing species, especially in places where there’s a lot of sunshine. But you’d think even newly cashed-up and adventurous Russians would baulk at travelling to a warzone?


Image Yaseen Al-Bushy/Reuters


Apparently, one Russian travel agency thinks not, and has already applied for the registration of its business that will include sending tourists to Syria, including visits to battlefronts.


Allegedly named after Syrian President, Bashar Assad, Assad Tour hopes to take individuals and small groups to the front line against the war on terrorism in trips lasting up to five days, Russian media reports.


Anatoly Aronov, president of the First Patent Company, which assisted in filing the business application, told Moscow City News Agency the applicant expected to launch the tours from Moscow to Syria next year, “with the possibility of a trip to the front line”.


"Despite the crisis in the tourism industry, there are always people, who are willing to combine the cognitive goals with the opportunity to see natural disasters or visit the places located near the warzones," Aronov explained. (Pretty unconvincing, if you ask us.)


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Aronov said talks with hotels and transport companies within Syria were already underway.


According to RT News, Russian Travel Industry Union spokesperson Irina Tyurina told Interfax sending tourists to conflict zones was illegal under Russian law.


But then again, the UK government recently gave Australia the highest terror threat level, so apparently it’s as dangerous down under as it is in Syria.   


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 21 December 2015

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