Since the Bardo and Sousse attacks, Tunisian authorities have stepped up security at major tourism sites and hotels, to try to reassure tourism companies and foreign governments that visitors will be safe.
But despite these security measures, tourism revenues in Tunisia were down in the first nine months of the year 2016 when compared to the same period last year, official figures have shown.
The tourism revenues edged down 8.4% from 1, 974.8 million dinars in 2015 to 1,808 MD in 2016 (first 9 months of 2016). Compared with the results recorded in 2014 (2, 745.3 MD), the revenues fall 34.1%, according to figures released by the Ministry of Tourism and Handicrafts.
In fact, the number of arrivals to the Tunisian border, stood at 4,330,591 visitors, from January 1 to September 30, 2016, to register a slight improvement (+ 1.6%) compared to the same period in 2015. However, the regression is significant (- 25%) compared with 2014 (5,780,034 arrivals).
In terms of overnight stays, the tourism department reported a leap of 5.9% compared to 2015, reaching the level of 14,839,465 overnight stays.
Indeed, the tourist sector revived at the end of the high season by Algerian and Russian arrivals which are said to have saved the season.
Tourism in Tunisia is experiencing the emergence of positive indicators of the next tourist season with the return of cruises last October after being suspended since March 2015 following the attack on the Bardo Museum. The arrival of the MS Europa in Tunis is a sign that Tunisia is resuming the trust of foreign tourists.
Tunisia needs more visitors and more investors, and attracting them will require the sustained engagement of the international community.