Tunisia’s National Office of Tourism will re-launch the country’s marketing in the wake of January’s revolution at trade show ITB in Berlin this week.
The country’s tourism authorities will make a virtue of the changes at the top of Tunisian society, led by a new tourism minister appointed last month following the revolution.
Office of National Tourism regional commissioner for Hammamet, Mohamed Naceur Laribi, said: “Now is the time to visit the new Tunisia. Come to Tunisia after the revolution. Come to see the new Tunisia, a modern Tunisia.” He confirmed the country’s delegation at ITB would have a new marketing campaign.
Laribi declined to suggest a date by which tourist numbers might return to the level of last year, saying: “It is useless to say in six or eight months we will be back to where we were. It is a matter of steps. First we need to know it is safe for tourists.”
UK tour operators had been anticipating the best-ever year for Tunisia after bookings rose by more than 13% last year on 2009.
Laribi said: “It is important our commercial partners understand the situation. We hope as many tourists as possible come, but probably this summer will not be like last summer. Maybe our summer will start a little later. We would be happy to see [a summer] like 2010.”
The first UK charter flights to Tunisia since January flew in last Wednesday, operated by Thomas Cook. The company had a second round of services fly in on Sunday and has resumed 16 flights a week from 10 departure airports. Thomson Airways will resume flights on March 13.
Thomas Cook launched a seven-day sale offering £200 off summer 2011 bookings to Tunisia and Egypt on Friday, and £100 off holidays over Easter and the Royal Wedding bank holiday.
Tunisia’s interim prime minister announced a schedule for elections this summer, satisfying the demands of demonstrators. Running protests in the capital Tunis have ended and the city appears back to normal.
Resort areas are open and the streets safe. Laribi said: “The political agenda is important to restore stability.” German trade show ITB, the world’s biggest travel and tourism event, begins on Wednesday.
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