Posted by: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Minister of Tourism and Handicrafts Selma Elloumi said Tuesday in a statement to TAP, that “the number of tourists for the 2018 season can exceed 8 million.”

She added on the fringes of the annual forum of the Tunisian National Tourist Board (ONTT) inspectors, March 13-15 in Hammamet, “this optimism is justified by the positive indicators recorded by the sector in recent weeks, resulting in significantly improved bookings, the return of traditional markets, the development of new markets including the Russian and Chinese, in addition to the continued exploration of other markets including the Gulf market.

According to the Minister, “the positive indicators find also expression in the progress made by domestic tourism having reached 30% of the total nights spent during the past season.”

Elloumi also highlighted “the success of the 2017 tourist season, recording a rise of over 17% in financial receipts to €1 billion (2,800 million dinars) compared to 2016, in addition to the increase by 23% in tourist arrivals to 7 million tourists and the rise in overnight stays by over 20%.”

As regard the agreements concluded with tour operators including Thomas Cook, Elloumi pointed out “that these are win-win agreements aimed at promoting the Tunisian tourism product, in the medium and long term.”

She added that “these agreements also seek to build strong and lasting relationships, beyond the economic uncertainties.”

Besides, the minister stressed the importance of the inspection service’s role in monitoring the degree of compliance with quality standards, which has become an argument of competitiveness and competition between tourist markets.