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Tourism: EU coming to save summer season… a ray of hope for Tunisia

Since the closure of air space and maritime borders, everything has slowed down in Tunisia.

The coronavirus has paralyzed the Tunisian economy and particularly, the tourism sector, which was barely emerging from other crises…A blow for this sector which is living from day to day.

Despite some easing of restrictions announced by the government, namely the gradual targeted deconfinement and the easing of the curfew that came into effect as of Wednesday, hotels and restaurants are still not allowed to open and they are completely shut down.

While the sector was barely recovering from the painful and deadly events such as the attacks in Sousse and Bardo, it is once again brought to its knees by the coronavirus.

In a statement granted to France 24, president of the Tunisian Interprofessional Federation of Tourism Houssem Ben Azouz said the future is still unclear as to the exact date of the resumption of activities. ”It will depend on the date of the resumption of activities. Sometimes we talk about July, August, September, we don’t know.

To be realistic, 2020 is lost; we think much more about 2021. “, he said.

The losses caused are colossal, estimated at 1.3 billion. Thus, 400,000 direct and indirect jobs would be threatened.

Following this unprecedented crisis, tourism professionals have demanded financial aid because many businesses are short of cash.

According to Houssem Ben Azouz, a postponement of fiscal and social deadlines would be an effective support, which unfortunately has not been achieved.

On the other hand, a line of credit, specific to the tourist sector, hotels and restaurants has been launched, he said.

For several travel agencies, the future remains uncertain as long as flights have not taken off.

In the same context, it should be recalled that last year, Tunisia achieved 5.6 billion TD in tourism receipts.

Until the end of March, it would have made between 800 MTD and 1 billion TD in tourist receipts.

The European Union wants to save the summer holidays

The world’s leading tour operator, Germany’s TUI, announced today, May 13, 2020, its intention to cut 8,000 jobs worldwide, or more than 10% of its workforce.

This sector, which is crucial for the European Union’s economy, accounting for 10% of its GDP and 12% of jobs, is suffering after two months of containment measures put in place to contain the pandemic.

To avoid this dramatic collapse, the European Commission has urged the 27 Member States to reopen their borders this summer and gradually lift health controls.

”We will have a tourist season this summer, albeit with security measures and restrictions that did not exist last year,” said European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Italian Paolo Gentiloni.

The Commission also recommends that Member States take their decisions on the basis of a health assessment of the situation in each country and by communicating with each other.

Tunisia should, therefore, seize this opportunity because of its proximity to Europe and its successful coronavirus control plan and its positive results over the last three days.

To this end, the sector’s professionals are called upon to prepare for a possible recovery which seems close…And to show that they are ready to welcome them in the necessary health conditions.


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