Only 4.8 million tourists have visited Tunisia until November 20, 2015, down 26% compared to the same period last year, said Minister of Tourism Salma Elloumi Rekik.
Speaking during the parliamentary debates on the tourism ministry’s budget for 2016, the minister explained this decline by the security situation in the country. She, however, noted that the number of Algerian tourists has increased by 17.2%.
The minister also reported a 33% decrease in tourist revenues in foreign currency compared with the last year, saying they have reached 2,087.4 million dinars until the end of October 2015.
Overnight stays in Tunisian hotels declined 44% to nearly 15 million.
She said the tourist department has taken in co-ordination with other ministries (mainly the Ministry of the Interior) measures to strengthen hotels protection and train tourist officials in security.
She also spoke of other financial measures including rescheduling debt under 2015 and cancelling fines for delays.
The ministry has focused its actions on changing the promotional policy, particularly after the Bardo and Sousse attacks,” the minister told MPs.
Regarding the diversification of markets, Rekik said agreements were signed last November with China, one of the biggest tourist markets in the world to attract Chinese tourists to Tunisia.
She said an Iranian delegation is expected this month in Tunis to discuss with Tunisian officials ways to boost Tunisian-Iranian tourism partnership.
On the African market, the minister said several meetings were held with representatives of other ministries and professional structures to attract African tourists and promote health and spa tourism.