Tourism revival begins in Syria's Bloudan
The Syrian civil war brought the once-famed tourism industry in the town of Bloudan to a complete halt. However, the announcement of a regional ceasefire allowed the rebels to depart the district and bring some much needed peace. And Bloudan is now finding its feet once again, and welcoming visitors back with open arms.
Work is well underway to restore the roads leading to the tourist attractions, as part of a government strategy to give the local economy a jump-start. Every weekend, people are coming in their droves to towns like Bukiain, renowned for its springs, or Bloudan, once the main summer destination, not just for Syrians, but for people from all over the Middles East.
Though Bloudan escaped the bloodshed, it still forced many of the town's businesses including dozens of hotels and restaurants to shut down. Anyone traveling into the town ran the risk of being shot at by a sniper, or driving over an explosive device.
And while tourists begin to flock back to Bloudan once again, many hope the renewed calm is a sign of a brighter future. However, as the deadly war rages on elsewhere, it's a future that remains very unclear for everyone.