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Published on : Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Tunisia lost around a third of its tourism sector revenues following Islamic State last year’s attacks as the latest reports of 2015 official statistics says. The extremist group killed as many as 38 foreign tourists on a popular tourist beach in Sousse and left 22 people dead on the National Bardo Museum in the gun attack. These two ghastly events significantly affected the country’s tourism industry. Adding to these, the Islamic State was also responsible for the killing of 12 presidential guards, following the suicide bombing attack last November.
Official numbers showed that tourism lost one third of the total sector revenue which consisted of 7% of Tunisian GDP. Lack of tourists affected hoteliers who were forced to temporarily close their businesses in 2015.
The national economy in 2015 saw a decline in activity, notably in the industrial and service sectors, which were affected by the terrorist events and despite the success of the political transition as per the reports of the Tunisia’s central bank.
Statistics show that 2015 total tourist arrivals decreased by 30.8% when compared to 2014, while tourism revenues suffered a 35.1% decline. Furthermore, European tourists’ numbers dropped by 53.6 per cent, the tourism ministry officials reported.
The 2011 revolution against country dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali also had a major impact on the Tunisian tourism industry apart from the terrorist attacks last summer.
The wave of current protests in the country determined Thomas Cook major travel operator to cancel all British bookings to Tunisia for the next 10 months.