Tunisia is shaking off the taint of terrorism and inextricably rising again as a tourist destination.  Rene Trabelsi, Tunisia's  Minister of Tourism, announced that the country has welcomed over five million tourists so far this year bringing with them approximately $925 million in additional revenue, boosting the overseas currency earnings by a very welcome 45.9 per cent.  Furthermore, the largest group of tourists to enjoy a holiday in Tunisia in 2019 were Europeans.   Tourism comprises 8 per cent of Tunisia's gross domestic product (GDP) and if the new statistics point to a sustained flow of tourists in the future Tunisia may cautiously look forward to a vastly improved economy.  Based on the latest figures it is predicted that Tunisia may have welcomed a potential nine million tourists by the end of the year, assuming the trend continues.  Promotional campaigns have been mounted by Tunisia to court the tourists in the European countries that were previously the traditional tourist markets, such as Germany, France and Britain. 

The scourge of terrorism blighted this vital industry sector in 2015 when a lone gunman brought carnage to Sousse in a shocking attack that saw 38 people killed, the vast majority of whom were British. Tunisia fought back making significant changes to the level of protection extended to tourist resorts, as well as vastly improving the speed of response, should the worst happen.  The British Embassy in Tunisia assisted with the deployment of specialist security teams aimed at preventing future outrages by strategic planning units enshrined in the Tunisian Ministry of the Interior, the National Guard and National Security and Civil Protection.  Britain and Tunisia have worked hand in hand to review all security measures in an effort to introduce the widest possible level of protection for all visitors to Tunisia and a joint agreement setting out the security requirements which all tourist establishments are obliged to put in place has been agreed.  The Tunisian government implemented a considerable number of measures, both to protect against attack and to provide early warnings of potential risks.  The Foreign Office has now amended its advice regarding travel to Tunisia and only a small part of the country which borders Libya and a small area on the Algerian border are now deemed to be best avoided. 

Foreign Direct Investment is returning to Tunisia and as tourism is one of the key sectors in Tunisia it is to be expected that a significant amount of investment will focus on this lucrative sector providing the boost to catapult the tourist sector to a level that will enable it to rival other Mediterranean destinations.  One of the most strategic approaches is to accelerate the development of airports, ports and transport infrastructure to augment the growth of the tourist industry.  Ghassen Mahfoudhi, president of the Tunisian Association of Aeronautical Information Administrators, commented at the 12th International Aviation Information Association meeting in Tunis, "the government will be overseeing the buying an advanced digital system and moving from a system of service of aviation information to managing aviation information."  Tunisian officials also maintained that smart solutions in aviation will enhance passenger comfort and help the Tunisian Civil Aviation and Airports Authority (OACA) reduce costs by about 25%.  The safety of air transport is an absolute priority of the government and all Tunisian airports are to be equipped with modern technological systems.

Tunisia is determined to rise above the detriments that the terror attack delivered to the country and lead the way for North African global trade. Giambrone welcomes the revitalization of the Tunisian economy and looks forward to playing a part in facilitating Tunisia's new dawn.

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