Minister of Tourism unveils new direction for Tunisian tourism at WTM

The Tunisian people and its rich culture and heritage will take centre stage as the North African country plans to attract tourists back to a freer, democratic Tunisia.

Speaking yesterday at World Travel Market, Tunisia’s Minister for Commerce and Tourism, Mr Mehdi Houas, outlined the country’s plans to attract more Brits to the destination in 2012.

Traditionally seen as a sea and sun destination, tourism officials now want to extend the country’s appeal, highlighting its 3,000 years of culture, history and traditions as well as the outstanding landscape.

“The atmosphere in Tunisia has changed since the revolution; we are now a free and democratic country and for the first time the Tunisian people are able to tell their own story,” said Mr Houas.

“Visitors can now meet the real people, speak to them freely and experience the culture first hand. This is a great opportunity for tourism; Tunisia still has a lot of potential to attract many new visitors,” continued Mr Houas.

“Tourism is one of our most important industries and the British market has bounced back quicker than any other. Our aim is to return to last year’s record-breaking visitor numbers by 2012, and we will do that by extending our appeal.”

Last year Tunisia welcomed 353,282 British visitors, up 28 per cent on 2009. Following the Jasmine Revolution tourist arrivals dropped by 35 per cent, but the the country has seen steady growth in visitor numbers since the major carriers resumed flights in March.

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