Russians who want to see their country’s controversial military campaign in Syria up close and in person will soon have their chance. Russian tourist agency Megapolis is reportedly planning to sell personalized tours to Syria. Customers who participate in these tours will travel to Syria, where they will have the opportunity to visit the front lines of the ongoing civil war and see the real life action for themselves.
The president of a patent company, Anatoly Aronov, stated that Megapolis is planning to offer customized Syrian tours that will last between four to five days for three to five individuals per trip. The trips will be called “Assad Tours”, and they will cost about $1,500 per individual. The costs will cover airfare and accommodations. The name “Assad Tours” has already been trademarked by Megapolis.
People with knowledge of the matter say that the Assad Tours will make use of multiple advantages that the Russians currently maintain in Syria. The presence of Russian troops will allow Russian citizens to see their own service people in the line of duty. Rarely do citizens get to see the troops of their own country on foreign missions.
It is also believed that many Syrians will be able to communicate with and relate to the Russians, since many Syrians have previously studied at Russian universities. The company even believes that some Syrians would be willing to host Russians to earn some extra money. Many Syrians actually know Russian as a second language, as the countries maintain relatively close ties.
Most people have acknowledged that the tourist trips to the front lines of the Syrian civil war will be nothing more than a niche industry. However, Aronov has stated that Megapolis has already started contacting Syrian hotels and transportation services. The company has even written official letters to the Syrian embassy and other relevant ministries.
While the idea of paying to visit Syria seems quite eccentric, it appears that this Russian tourist company is moving full steam ahead with the whacky plan. So far, there are no Russians who have stepped forward saying that they want to go on an Assad Tour.