Africa: From 9.5 million in 2019, Tunisia’s tourism arrival plunged below 2 million in 2020

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As the tourism world struggles to overcome the damaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry, the Ministry of Tourism and Handicrafts of North African country, Tunisia has released tourism figures for the year 2020, showing the full extent of COVID-19 on the sector.

According to a report by hoteliermiddleeast.com, tourism arrivals for Tunisia dropped by 80 percent, shrinking from 9.5 million in 2019 to less than two million in 2020.

Tourism revenues therefore tanked, reaching TND2 billion (US$723 million) compared to TND5.6 billion ($2bn) in 2019.

While Tunisia was one of the first countries in its region to receive the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safe Travels stamp, its hospitality sector has still struggled.

The country has also had trouble securing COVID-19 vaccines, which cities such as Dubai have found to massively help hospitality and tourism. According to MEED, Tunisia is yet to receive any vaccines though it has given emergency approval to the Sputnik-V jab.

Global operators such as Hilton are still keen on the country, with the group bringing in a resort by 2023.

Hilton signed an agreement with Societe Marhaba Beach to open Hilton Skanes Monastir Beach Resort in two years’ time.

“As travellers plan their vacations and dream of new destinations to visit, we see great potential to expand our portfolio in resort locations across North Africa,” said Carlos Khneisser, vice president of development, Middle East and Africa for Hilton.

“Tunisia has a rich tradition of tourism and hospitality and we are delighted to be partnering with owner, Societe Marhaba Beach, to bring Hilton to the beautiful resort of Skanes as we grow our portfolio in locations across the country.”

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