Egyptian, Tunisian tourism turns around after setbacks

Published on : Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tunisian tourismTravel experts on every stand at London’s Excel centre this month, where the World Travel Market (WTM) exhibition was being held, had a story to narrate.

 
For the Caribbean islands, ravaged by hurricanes in September, the talk was of overcoming the legacy of natural disasters which caused hundreds of deaths and damage properties worth billions of dollars.

 
The region attracted a record 30 million visitors in 2016 and predicts further growth this year, although market expansion is expected to slow down following the hurricanes.

 
On other stands, economic issues from Brexit to domestic crises were cited as reasons for concern.

 
But when travel professionals discuss the challenges their industry faces, it is the threat of terrorism that dominates the thoughts of many.

 
Few countries have suffered as badly from the effects of extremist violence, or fear of it, as Tunisia and Egypt.

 
Tunisia offers a striking example of not only the impact of terrorism but the ability of a nation to triumph over adversity and rebuild a damaged industry.

 
The North African state relies heavily on holidaymakers as a source of foreign income, accounting for up to eight per cent of GDP and giving employment to more than 400,000 people directly and indirectly.

 
The industry was showing signs of recovery from the repercussions of the Arab Spring when a series of deadly terrorist attacks in 2015 all but wrecked confidence.

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