How does tourism in Tunisia intend to rebound with the new president ?

The presidential elections have just ended. The new President of the Republic, Kais Saied, will now have to find solutions to encourage tourists to come to Tunisia. The tourism industry is estimated to represent more than 13% of GDP. Solutions exist, it will be necessary to have the courage, and the means, to put them in place!!

The fall of Thomas Cook will remain a shock for the country

The bankruptcy of Thomas Cook was very strongly felt in Tunisia. According to, Thomas Cook was the country’s first tourist outfitter.
According to this media, hotel owners have not been paid since June. The figures differ according to the local media.

According to one of the media, the English tour operator owes Tunisian hotels a total of €60 million for stays in July and August. Another medium would mention an invoice of about ten million euros. It should be noted that in Djerba, the TO had 33 holiday clubs.

In Hammamet, a hotelier lost his cool

A hotel manager has, according to the British press, blocked about thirty holidaymakers, asking them to pay for the stay. There were guards on duty in front of the hotel’s closed gate. The staff asked them to pay for the stay. Thus, some holidaymakers reportedly paid 2,200 euros in order to be able to leave the premises. According to René Trabelsi, the Tunisian Minister of Tourism, this was a misunderstanding…

A debate on the weight of tourism in Tunisia

The Tunisian Hotel Federation (FTH) reportedly adopted a KPMG study that would give a very different weight to tourism to the official figure. According to this study, tourism represents 13.8% of Tunisia’s GDP, and not 4.1%, as reported by the National Institute of Statistics.

Behind this debate is obviously the question of the priorities of the Tunisian economy.

At a press conference held at IFTM Top Resa last month, the Minister of Tourism, René Trabelsi, announced a target of 800,000 French tourists by the end of this year (663,741 by 10 September).

It should be noted that Tunisia should receive at least 9 million tourists in 2019. Russians and Algerians have been a valuable clientele for Tunisia!

A price war between destinations is to be expected

The professionals present at IFTM were confident about their ability to overcome Thomas Cook’s bankruptcy and the recovery by other tour operators of Thomas Cook France’s customers.
However, Tunisian professionals fear a price war with destinations affected by the bankruptcy of the tour operator. Countries such as Spain and Turkey are likely to be very active.

Air transport at the heart of upcoming discussions

The Tunisian minister (René Trabelsi) had indicated that he was in favour of the « opensky ». He had indicated that several low-cost airlines would serve Tunisia in 2020 (with the exception of Tunis). For the moment, there are only charter companies chartered by several TOs.

A new airline has just been born

Jasmin Airways has announced the start of its activities with a Tunis/Djerba flight, pending the obtaining of the necessary authorizations for international flights.

First, it should use an Embrear 170 with 76 seats. Its CEO, Ali Ben Amara, hopes to be able to expand the fleet to five other aircraft in the medium term.

We are eagerly awaiting the decisions of the next Minister of Tourism. Air transport remains an important key to advancing tourism.

Serge Fabre

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