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

Press Release   •   Jul 17, 2013 15:13 BST

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.

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