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Travel and Tourism in Tunisia

Tunisia tourism market: Recovery registered in 2012 after the 2011 Jasmine Revolution

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2014-02-12 19:49:02 - Travel and Tourism in Tunisia - a new market research report on

Products in the Tunisia tourism market lack diversification, as tourists are used to coming to the country just for its beach resorts and sun and sea destinations. Tunisia has, nonetheless, a lot more to offer in terms of culture, ecotourism, health and wellness, and even golf tourism. All of these aspects of Tunisian tourism were overlooked in the past, with some significant missed opportunities. The government´s new strategy is aimed at boosting the appeal of these niche areas and better promotion of a number of different activities in order to increase the length of stay, and also to diversify with regard to sources of tourism. MICE tourism is another area that is underdeveloped and which is likely to see more



developments in the future.

Negotiations are underway to further liberalise the air transportation industry and boost air traffic to and from the country, a move which has been long awaited by industry players and yet which is taking a while to be fully implemented. Tunisair incurred some significant losses as a result of the Jasmine revolution, and engaged in a restructuring exercise aiming to boost its competitiveness and gear the airline into better facing the competition. In the meantime, progress towards an open skies policy has slowed down. That said, new operators are entering the industry, and Tunisia is likely to see some significant changes during the forecast period.

Cut-throat competition is prevalent across the industry; from hotels to travel retailers and car rental operators, prices were reduced to unprecedented levels as players competed to attract tourists during difficult times. This led to some bankruptcies and hotel closures during the unrest. Operators need to find innovative ways of competing in a healthy and constructive way to avoid operational inefficiencies. The very low prices also have the potential to affect the destination´s image.

Balance of payments has always been positive in Tunisia as inbound travel activity is considerable in value (thanks to the large number of tourists travelling to the country) when compared to smaller, and less wealthy outbound travel activity. The value of balance of payments peaked in 2008 at TND1.7 billion, but has since declined to reach TND440 million in 2012 as a direct result of the decline in inbound tourism and declining incoming tourist receipts over 2008-2012.Outbound tourists spent TND1.5 billion in 2012 abroad, and this is increased compared to 2011 as the number of trips taken abroad recovered in 2012.

Inbound tourists spent TND2.0 billion in 2012 compared to TND1.5 billion in 2011 and TND2.4 billion in 2010. The recovery is continuing in 2013 as incoming tourist receipts are expected to rise by 1% at constant 2012 prices. That said, incoming tourist receipts is not expected to recover to anywhere near its peak value during the forecast period, owing to a continuing fear of the security situation leading tourists to spend shorter periods of time in the country, and long-haul, high-spending tourists to avoid the destination altogether.

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