A Russian company is planning on offering “terrorism tourism” by next year: bringing tourists directly to the front lines in Syria.
Megapolis Ltd., which is based in Russia, has already filed to register the name “Assad Tour”—named after brutal Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad—to the Russian Agency for Patents and Trademarks.
“The applicant, Megapolis Ltd., expects to launch tours from Moscow to Syria next year, with the possibility of a trip to the front line,” said Anatoly Aronov, who serves as president for First Patent Company, which has helped Megapolis register their trademark.
He added that the tour would take small groups of tourists out to the front lines for four or five days, and that talks with hotels and transport companies in Syria are already underway.
Currently, sending tourists to conflict areas is against the law in Russia, since the company would not be able to guarantee the safety of its tourists, but that might not stop Megapolis.
“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,” said Aronov.
Since ISIS came into mainstream public consciousness, there’s been a rash of kidnappings and beheadings—mostly of Western reporters who stumbled across enemy lines.
However, considering the deteriorating relationship between ISIS and Russia, however, it might make these “terror tourists” a prime target as well.
After Russia announced they would ramp up their war on ISIS—largely to protect Assad, who’s a key Russian ally in the region—ISIS responded by shooting down a Russian civilian aircraft carrying 217 passengers from the Egyptian tourist resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, Russia. No one onboard survived.
The conflict in Syria, which has been waging since 2011, has already killed 220,000 people and displaced more than 11 million.