By Tamjid Alkohali
Eid is considered a chance for many Yemeni families to travel and spend a fun holiday after a long time of working. Despite the impediments of domestic tourism, the streets of the capital Sana’a were almost empty of people. A lot of people have traveled with their families to coastal cities such as Aden, Hodeida, or Mukalla, while others went to the villages where they are from.
The rate of travel is varied in the coastal cities, and Aden was the most visited city this year.
According to the report by tourism police and tourism offices in Aden, the number of visitors who visited the parks and tourist sites in Aden during Eid al-Fitr is about 200,000 visitors, while the visitors to Aden’s coasts reached 100,000.
Maysoon, who just came back to Sana’s, said that the last time she spent the holiday in Aden was two years ago. This year she asked herself, is Aden still as beautiful as the past, especially after the economic and political deterioration that Yemen is suffering from recently? However Maysoon found that Aden is even more beautiful than in the past and still has a lot of admirers.
“During the ten days I spent in Aden I didn’t feel any conflict between people in Aden and the visitors from the north. I have seen only respect and love from all the people there,” she added.
Maysoon emphasized that the development that has occurred in Aden increased the fun of holiday.
“The availability of hotels, transportation, and restaurants as well as parks and resorts on its beautiful coasts make the holiday in Aden more exciting,” she added.
Arif Ahmed, another visitor in Aden, said that Eid in Aden is different. The congestion of the families on its beaches makes it more beautiful.
“The large number of visitors and their safe return to their governorate is evidence that the conflicts in the country is only among the stakeholders, while the citizen respect each other and want the unity.” Ahmed explained.
Ahmed emphasized that if there weren’t economic and security obstacles, as well as high prices in hotels and restaurants, the tourism in Aden would continue throughout the year, not only in holidays.
The main reason for the high rate of visitors to Aden is the good infrastructure. It’s provides the visitors with tourism services and fun tourism events as well as the different historical monuments and beautiful beaches.
The manager of the Environmental Awareness Center that belongs to the Cleaning and Improvement Fund in Aden, Jamil al-Qadasi, emphasized that they are keen to create a safe and comfortable tourist atmosphere for visitors.
According to al-Qadasi, the process of distributing questionnaires helps them to know the visitors’ opinions about the tourism services as well as to improve tourism in Aden.
“This year, we distributed about ten thousand questionnaires to visitors in parks, coasts, malls, archaeological sites, hotels, and restaurants. “Fortunately, until now the result is positive. Most people praise the tourism in Aden,” he explained.
Aden’s interest in its visitors makes it the primary destination for tourism among all coastal cities. There are many people who visit Hodeida for its beautiful nature, but the lack of integrated infrastructure and tourism activities reduce the rate of visits.
Mukalla is also receives a small number of visitors from different governorates because of its beautiful coasts and many archaeological sites. However, the weak infrastructure and the existence of Southern Harak make it the least visited city in Eid.
On other hand, rural areas are filled with visitors from urban cities during Eid. However, travel to the rural areas is considered a duty or tradition more than a purpose of tourism.
Hamoud Al-Hassani is keen to spend Eid in his village of Ibb every year. According to him, Eid days in the countryside characterized by a social atmosphere.
“Eid in the village is spent in a very traditional way where people still maintain many of customs and traditions. Also the calm and purity of the valley give any person comfort and renewal, especially after spending a long time among the noise of the city with its pollution,” he said.
Besides the nice weather and the social atmosphere, tourism in villages is less expensive than tourism in coastal cities.