5 March 2013

The fickle post revolution tourism industry

This is a recent photograph from the idyllic Tunisian countryside.  Tunisia is a beautiful country it has a kind of elusive beauty which is not immediately apparent.  Whilst parts of the countryside can best be described as idyllic the country itself has been plunged into political turmoil.
It is around this time that people in the Northern hemisphere tend to make bookings for their summer holidays and with the current political unrest and instability in Tunisia many tourists will quite rightly be put off from coming here preferring to take their holidays elsewhere. 
I recently read that alongside natural resources such as petroleum, iron ore, phosphates, lead, zinc, salt and arable land, tourism counts for about 7% of the GDP in Tunisia and is said to add about 400,000 jobs to the Tunisian economy.  Unfortunately, the economy is still sluggish two years after the revolution.  As well it must be said that safety and security are paramount to enticing tourists back into the country.  Political unrest greatly undermines the tourism industry and also has a negative impact on other related economic activities such as the hotel industry, restaurants, on tour guides, on people who make handicraft to sell as souvenirs and ultimately on attracting inward investors. 

I am including a link to an annual survey carried out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tunisia which was published on 5 September 2012.  This article gives a more concise and informed picture as to the current state of affairs.
What a pity that the politicians appear unable to rise above their divisive differences and party political bickering to actually do something positive for the good of the Tunisian people and the country as a whole.

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