In 2015, terrorist suicide attacks plagued not just Tunisia’s tourism industry, but the entire North African country. In the months that followed the mayhem, the number of tourists in the country precariously went downhill. Per reports, the country’s tourism sector is reviving and could generate more revenue this year than ever.
After 22 tourist lives were lost at the Bardo National Museum in the capital Tunis in 2015, another 38 were killed in a beach-side attack close to the well-known resort town of Sousse. 12 more people met the end of the road in a suicide bombing of a police bus in Tunis as well. Most of these attacks were claimed by ISIS.
These series of events took their toll on Tunisia’s tourism industry. With the worries that the country is no longer safe for visitors and citizens alike, a devastating dry spell plagued the North Africa country, which at the time struggled in the wake of the Arab Spring. Known as the “Bali for Brits” Tunisia’s tourism yet has immense value, and the government is bursting at the seams to ensure the sector does not die off.
A World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) report showed there was a 23.2 percent increase in tourists to Tunisia from 2016 to 2017. The numbers were on a climb in 2010, as 7.8 million visitors graced the country.
The number fell to 5.4 million in 2015, no thanks to the numerous attacks. It was reported that hotel guests nearly halved in the country between 2012 and 2016, descending from a little over 4 million to 2.2 million to 2016.
Tunisia’s tourism saw the dawn of a new day in recent years, nonetheless. As the government reassured tourists of the country’s safety and moved to tighten security, the numbers went back up to 7.1 million in 2017. The UNWTO report said: “Tunisia, where the lifting of negative travel advice has led to a surge of European visitors the past months, recorded double-digit growth,” the UNWTO report said.
Recently, the Tunisian Minister of Tourism, Roni Trabelsi, said he expects the revenues from the sector to exceed USD 1.3 Bn (TND 4 Bn) by the end of the year. He affirmed that the number of tourists visiting the country would blow past 9 million compared to 8 million in the same period of 2018.
Tourism contributes around 14.2 percent to Tunisia’s GDP and provides employment opportunities to no less than 2 million Tunisians. Previously, the numbers revealed an 8 percent GDP input, but other of the country’s economy drivers performed well to give tourism a more significant position. Revenues have increased by 42.5 percent in the last six months, and the total tourism profits were estimated at USD 650 Mn (TND 1.98 Bn).
European tourists from the Maghreb went up to 18.3 percent, those from Europe increased by 22 percent, and French visitors increased by 26.2 percent in total. In the first half of 2019, Tunisia’s tourism revenues soared 42.5 percent to USD 692 Mn compared to the same period of last year.
Featured Image: Tunisia Tourism Via YouTube