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Tunisia Expects More than 9 Mn Tourists this Year

Tunisia Expects More than 9 Mn Tourists this Year

Saturday, 23 March, 2019 - 09:15
A tourist taking a photo in Sidi Bou Said
Tunis - Mongi Saidani
The Tunisian Ministry of Tourism expects the number of holidaymakers to exceed nine million in 2019.

The industry has witnessed a 42 percent increase in the number of foreign visitors in 2018.

The number of German tourists, for instance, rose 52 percent, which experts considered a remarkable recovery for the Tunisian tourism sector that the country is highly dependent on to give a boost to foreign currency reserves.

Minister of Tourism Rene Trabelsi has reiterated the recovery of the sector, and pointed out that the number of tourists is returning to pre-crisis levels.

The sector generates about 400,000 jobs and accounts for eight percent of Tunisia’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Tourism revenues jumped in 2018 to $1.36 billion as the country saw the arrival of a record 8.3 million visitors, according to Ministry data.

The number of arrivals from Europe is close to what was recorded before 2011, a sign that the sector is recovering, Trabelsi explained.

Tunisia expects at least a 30 percent rise in European visitors, according to reservations announced at the beginning of 2019.

This increase is due to Tunisia’s participation in major exhibitions, such as the International Salon for Tourism in Berlin and Moscow International Travel & Tourism Exhibition (MITT).

Tunisian authorities have also held a series of important meetings with major travel agencies and urged them to restore confidence in the tourism industry.

Tunis expects the number of French holidaymakers to rise about 47 percent this year, an expected increase from 782,000 tourists in 2018 to around one million.

It expects the number of German tourists to return to previous levels through an increase of 20 percent (up to 400,000 visitors).

Tunisia also seeks to lure more Algerian tourists, whose numbers exceeded 2.7 million in 2018. There are expectations that this year could see the arrival of more than 3.2 million visitors from the neighboring country.

Tourist arrivals from Russia is also expected to rise to at least 650,000.

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