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Tourism to Tunisia Drops 80 Percent

Tourism to Tunisia Drops 80 Percent

Tuesday, 23 February, 2021 - 09:30
The late arrival of vaccines in Tunisia threatens the new tourist season after being severely affected last year. Reuters file photo

Tunisia's Ministry of Tourism and Handicrafts has revealed an 80 percent drop in visitors to Tunisia in 2020, compared to last year.

This means that the number of tourist arrivals didn’t exceed 2 million.

Tourism revenues reached TND2 billion ($732 million), compared to TND5.6 billion in 2019.

In 2019, Tunisia had received a record 9.5 million visitors. However, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted various tourism destinations.

Commenting on this, President of the Tunisian Tourism Observatory (OTT) Afif Kchouk expected the sector to face similar challenges this year.

He added that the early arrival of vaccines in other tourism destinations will have serious consequences on the sector in Tunisia.

The arrival of the first shipment of vaccines to Tunisia has been postponed.

Kchouk lamented that the country will lose a great deal of its European visitors. In this case, Tunisia might rely on the domestic market along with the Algerian and Libyan markets.

FTH (Fédération Tunisienne de l'Hôtellerie) President Khaled Fakhfakh said that the tourism crisis will likely continue during the second half of 2021.

In a statement, Fakhfakh revealed that up to 90 percent of tourism institutions have shut down.

Only 10 percent of Tunisian hotels have resumed operations at poor occupancy rate.

The latest data from the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) revealed that global tourism suffered its worst year on record in 2020, with international arrivals dropping by 74 percent.

The latest UNWTO report stated that the collapse in international travel represents an estimated loss of $1.3 trillion in export revenues - more than 11 times the loss recorded during the 2009 global economic crisis.

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