In an attempt to boost investment in the tourism sector, the ministry focused on the launch of the new development strategy of tourism in Tunisia by 2016. This strategy will be officially launched on February 19, February 2013 during a national forum to be attended by a thousand participants and several foreign guests.
Among the major axes of the strategy, the diversification of the offer, promotion and marketing, governance and restructuring of the finance sector, mastery of new information and communication technologies and development of air transport. Through this initiative Tunisia aims to attract 10 million tourists in 2016.
Tourism investments fell 50%
It should be noted that investments in the tourism sector declined by 50% during the first 11 months in 2012. In parallel, and during the same period, Tunisia hosted 5,554,000 tourists to November 30, 2012, against 4,456,000 in 2011 and 6,487,000 in 2010. Tourism revenues amounted, in turn, to 2.9 billion dinars during the first 11 months of 2012 against 2.2 billion in 2011 and 3.2 billion in 2010.
The distribution of market entries between January 1 and November 30, 2012, also shows a marked improvement in almost all tourist-generating countries to Tunisia compared to 2011, but a generalized regression compared to 2010.
Similarly, entries of European tourists increased 40.6% compared to 2010 and decreased by – 22.1% compared with 2010. Entries of Maghreb tourists grew 18.4% in comparison with 2011 and decreased by -3.7% compared to 2010. Entries of North Americans rose 29.5% compared to last year and dropped 20.9% compared with 2010.
With regard to the overall indebtedness of hoteliers, it stands at 3.5 billion dinars. Worse, between 600 and 800 million dinars are contested claims that will be paid by an assets management company.
Looking ahead in 2013, there exists a note of optimism. The Tunisia destination targets indeed at least 6.8 million tourists in 2013.
Business professionals demand urgent reforms!
Despite tensions in Tunisia, travel agents, alternative tourism, tourist guides, restaurants, communicators and the sector’s experts stress the need to ensure coordination between the Ministries of Transport and Tourism and opt for close cooperation in order to improve the performance of the Tunisian destination.
Compared with competing destinations, the cost of air travel in Tunisia remains irrational, leading many tour operators to abandon the Tunisian destination to move towards others, such as Morocco, Spain, Turkey. ..
Similarly, professionals recommend launching a major campaign to improve the image of Tunisia and putting in place incentives to encourage tour operators to invest more in the Tunisian destination.