[The story has been corrected to reflect that the figures are for 2008, as mentioned at the Syria Comment blog, and not 2010 as originally written here. A corrected story is below:]
Syria may be home to a fine Mediterranean coastline, glorious ancient ruins, spectacular crusader castles and the best-preserved medieval old city in the Middle East. But that doesn't mean the vast economic incompetence and isolationist stance of the regime of president Bashar Assad can't render it a tourism wasteland.
American academic and Syria expert Josh Landis took a look at some recent figures for full-year 2008 provided by Syria's government statistics office (Arabic), and blogged some truly depressing numbers regarding the country's hotel industry (emphasis ours):
The entire hotel industry in Syria employed just 11,224 people.
Total salaries and wages paid to them was SYP1.97 billion, which comes to SYP14,668 ($312) a month per person.
All the hotels combined had revenue of $279 million.
The 5 star hotels had 55% of that at $154 million
The four star and under combined had revenues of $125 million.
The Phoenicia hotel in Beirut alone had revenue of $88 million last year (31% of all the hotels in Syria combined).
It employes 2000 people (18% of the entire workforce employed in the Syrian hotel industry)