Political stability set to revive Tunisia's tourism industry
As the political climate stabilises in Tunisia, many feel that the nation's tourism industry is on the verge of a come back. The Tunisian ministry of Tourism has stepped up its marketing efforts and has declared in key international publications that Tunisia is ready to welcome holidaymakers with open arms.
Tourism officials in Tunisia are sending the message that Tunisia is now open for business and ready to welcome travelers once again. Marred by the Jasmine Revolution of 2010, the nation’s tourism industry has ever since experience a steep decline in tourist numbers. However, now thanks to greater political stability ushered in by a new and more progressive constitution and the nation’s upcoming democratic elections, officials feel that Tunisia is on the verge of a recovery and may even become the next big tourism destination.
As recently as January 2014, Conde Nast Traveller, one of the foremost authorities on up and coming holiday destinations, pegged Tunisia as the next big travel destination stating,
“With its tradition of tolerance—not to mention glorious Roman ruins and Mediterranean beaches—Tunisia may yet emerge as a beacon of hope in one of the world's most troubled regions”.
Tunisia’s ministry of tourism has made the decision to step up its marketing efforts, posting promotional videos of some of the country’s most picturesque locations along the Mediterranean coast.
Amel Karboul, Tunisia’s tourism minister said:
“I tell Western tourists, come to Tunisia, the first democracy in the Arab world, to share this historic moment and support a democratic transition and also enjoy its sun, beaches, desert and culture”
In what is undoubtedly an encouraging sign, there was a 12% increase number of visitors in Q1 2014 when compared to the same period in 2013. Currently officials are expecting to attract as many as seven million visitors by the end of 2014 and the industry is expected to contribute 3.6 billion euros to the Tunisian economy in 2014.
In addition to attracting more visitors from France- Tunisia’s main source market, attention will be placed on attracting more visitors from other countries including Germany, Russia, the UK and potentially Canada and China. A local private airline- Syphax has expressed interest in providing direct flights between Tunis and the North American destination Montreal and New York.
While, for some the threat of terrorism still looms large, the overall feeling from within Tunisia is one of hope and positivity. “One local shop owner recently declared in an interview with USA Today,
“Tunisia is ready to bring tourism back… We made a revolution and now we will get tourism back on its feet and make it strong again”.
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