Maghreb nationals especially those from Algeria and Libya are helping Tunisia’s tourism sector to blossom. The influx of North Africans continues to rise since after the Aid el-Fitr and the trend is expected to continue during the whole summer. Tunisia has oriented considerable attention for a number of years on the Maghreb market, especially the Algerian one, by intensifying various advertisement campaigns.
Border crossings areas between Tunisia and Algeria have been busy after the end of the Aid el-Fitr holiday. The preferred destinations of most of the Algerians going to Tunisia are Sousse, Hammamet, and Tabarka. Libyans mostly head to the island of Djerba due to its geographical proximity although their arrivals started rising when the fighting got intense in their country. According to Regional Delegate for Tourism Basma Dergham, the number of tourists from the two countries that has visited the city of Yasmine, Hammamet since the beginning of the year is almost 26,000; of which around 19000 are Algerians.
Tarek Laamari from Algeria said he visits Tunisia annually during the summer because it is close to the Algerian capital, the atmosphere is appropriate and conditions are safe. Some European countries have discouraged their citizens to travel to Tunisia but Laamari said “We are enjoying our time as usual without any problems.”
Abdelhamid Chahabni from Tripoli said “we visit Tunisia throughout the year, especially for medical treatment and shopping. The atmosphere in Tunisia is not foreign to us and besides, the situation in our country has made a lot of us settle here and take advantage of the summer vacation for leisure and relaxation with the family.” “We are comfortable here,” he concluded.
Tunisia is targeting 7 million tourists before the end of the year.