According to the latest statistics released by the Tourism and Trade Department, tourism revenues fell by 39.4% in the first nine months of the year, compared with the same period in 2010.
They amounted to 1.5 billion dinars over that period. Arrivals fell by 35.4%, declining from 5.2 million visitors from early January to September 2010 to 3.3 million in the same period in 2011. The fall of overnight stays was at 43.2%.
It is in this context that the magazine “Tourism Info,” held, on Wednesday, a forum aimed to encourage professionals to reflect on the future of Tourism in Tunisia, knowing that the economic challenges are real in a field where international competition is high.
During this event, speakers discussed the strategy to further develop the sector that was strongly hit by the events of the Revolution.
The strategic study on the development of Tunisian tourism by 2016, which served as the basis for discussion, centers on regional consultation and in other tourist areas, which will meet the ambition of Tunisian tourism in the next five years focusing on five areas and providing for twenty strategic actions, in addition to 160 special measures.
To address the main gaps impeding the sector’s development, the said study makes five sets of recommendations, namely diversification and innovation in offer, promotion of marketing, modernization of the institutional framework, restructuring of financial sector and increased use of new information and communication technology in tourism.
Indeed, it is important to ensure professional qualities which require regular market study for economic and trade exchanges to develop the sector under the best conditions through a skilled workforce to ensure the sustainability of the tourism culture within the company in a stable economic environment and a favorable political climate.
The tourism market should move towards biodiversity, action plans and other related sectoral strategies for policy making, development planning and tourism management in destinations or sites.
It should be reminded that the different stakeholders are required to design effective measures to accelerate the return of international tourists in Tunisia, where tourism accounts for almost 7% of the country’s GDP and employs 450,000 people.