Since its inception four years ago, the Syrian civil war — the biggest crisis since the Second World War — saw about 220,000 people killed, 7.6 million internally displaced and 4 million fleeing the country. The ongoing battle between the government and the Islamic state terrorists has destroyed or damaged most of the historical and religious landmarks.
However, despite the tragic conditions, it seems the war-torn country has made it to some daring holidaymakers’ travel wish list for 2016.
Starting next year, Russian travel firm Megapolis Travel Ltd. will offer five-day tours of the deadly conflict zone, with a focus on the country’s bloody civil war front line. The company has even applied for registration of their trademark “Assad Tour” — because the vacation getaway is named after the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, obviously.
“People are curious to see the history made in front of them," explained Anatoly Aronov, head of First Patent Company, who helped to file Megapolis's licensing application with Moscow. “We will be 1 kilometer away from the front at the very closest. But not any closer. It's safe. On no occasion will we be giving weapons to tourists.”
Never mind the hundreds of thousands of dead bodies, because curiosity prevails, right?
The new tours will be aimed at individuals or small groups of people and will cost about $1,500 per person. Apparently, the company has already contacted the Syrian Embassy in Russia and relevant authorities to pursue their venture.
“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 told Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.
However, the Russian Federal Tourism Agency (Rosturizm) claims that it has not received such submission.
“There is no Assad Tour in the register and they haven’t filed an application. Therefore they are not authorized to sell these trips,” said Izo Arakhamiya, the head of the agency’s legal department, adding that sending tourists to conflict zones runs counter to Russian law.
Nonetheless Megapolis Travel Ltd. seems pretty intent on moving forward with their holiday trips. After all, what could be a better time than exploiting the miseries of millions in a deadly civil war.