Tunisia will launch a UK consumer campaign next week aimed at boosting the market following the establishment of a democratic government last October.


The campaign will mix online, print and outdoor advertising under the slogan ‘Tunisia: there is a lot more to celebrate’. It will run until June, with a focus on the country’s resorts and emphasis on the proximity of Tunisia, promoted as “Just 2.5 hours away”.


Tourism minister Elyes Fakhfakh told Travel Weekly: “There is still confusion about the region in the minds of tourists.”


Tunisia saw a 35% fall in UK tourism last year compared with 2010 – a loss of 120,000 visitors.


However, 2010 was a record year and Fakhfakh said losing 35% was “a good level for a revolutionary year and not so bad against other European markets”. The average decline from Europe was 41%.


The ministry has agreed an 18% increase in scheduled airline capacity this summer, with Tunisair due to launch a second flight from Manchester to the resort area of Sousse and Hammamet in April.


UK bookings in January were just 15% down on January 2010, suggesting the recovery is gathering strength. However, Tui Travel and Thomas Cook have yet to restore full capacity.


Fakhfakh said: “We are negotiating additional flights at the moment, talking with all the main players and putting in place a mechanism to share the risk.” He added: “We believe we have opened a new page, with new investment and a new strategy.”