The first signs of tourism recovery have been recorded during the new season, as bookings picked up 30 per cent compared to 2019, said the president of the Tunisian Federation of Travel and Tourism Agencies, Ahmed Betaieb.
In a statement to TAP, Betaieb pointed out that the Tunisian destination has regained its attractiveness thanks to the efforts made by all parties concerned, expecting the number of overnight stays in hotel units in Tunisia to increase at rates between 20 and 30 per cent compared to 2019 (reference year).
The President of the Federation said the number of tourists from the classical European markets (Germany, France and England) has returned to the 2019 level, while a new market, Armenia has emerged. The Russian market which, together with the Algerian market, had saved the tourist season in 2019, is absent because of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
The positive indicators should not overshadow the challenges and problems faced by travel agencies and the tourism sector, he said.
These problems include the shortage of the bus fleet, the difficulty in obtaining licences to supply and renew the transport fleet, the lack of “qualified” manpower in several tourism specialities to further improve the quality of services, as well as the inability to involve the private sector in solving and discussing issues related to the tourism sector in Tunisia before taking decisions.
He called for exceptional measures to be taken in order to avoid any shortcomings that would hamper the work of Tunisian travel agencies and prevent them from meeting the high demand, especially during the high tourist season.
Tunisia had attracted about 9 million and 30 thousand tourists until December 20, 2019 (the reference year before the COVID-19), at a time when the sector’s revenues had risen to more than 5,350 million dinars, according to data provided by the then Minister of Tourism, Rene Trabelsi.
As of November 30, 2019, the number of overnight stays in hotel units increased by 11.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2018, reaching 28.8 million overnight stays.