Tunisia looks to the future

By | Category: Travel destinations

After some very lean years when Britons shunned Tunisian holidays as a result of the atrocities of 2015, Britons returned last year.

Near the entrance of El Jem one of many heritage sites that attract visitors to Tunisia

According to the tourist board about 205,000 Britons and 5,000 Irish holidayed in Tunisia last year.

It would have been more but the collapse of Thomas Cook dented the numbers traveling there as indeed, it dented numbers to many world-wide destinations. Visitor numbers for the winter season will probably remain the same as in 2018/19

But overall Tunisia had about 5,550, 000 overseas visitors in 2019 which was up about a million on the previous year. After the lean years the bounce-back had begun.

But the tail of Thomas Cook still wags and in 2020 growth may not be so strong. Growth has been helped by TUI snapping up hotel rooms it can sell to its customers. It has also upped the number of flights to Tunisia from both London and regional airports. With easyJet starting flights and the privately owned Nouvelair operating under its own name this year, tourism may turn out to be stronger from the UK than the tourist board currently thinks.

For a start more tour operators are selling holidays to Tunisia. Cyplon, On The Beach, Love Holidays and Expedia have increased their number of holidays available or have entered the market for the first time. In fact only Jet 2 amongst the big players hasn’t re-entered the market.

From May throughout the summer, there will be flights from Gatwick and Heathrow in London but the regions are the real winners. There will be direct services to Tunis and Enfidha (the main airport for Sousse, Monastir and Hammamet) from Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster-Sheffield, East Midlands, Glasgow, Luton, Manchester, Newcastle and Stansted Airports.

The only major tourist destination without a direct link will be the island of Jerba and, given that the tourism minister comes from Jerba,  that might change as the summer approaches.

TUI will operate 12 flights a week, easyJet -two, Nouvelair – five and this is in top of the regular service by Tunisair into the capital city.

With this coverage, a weakish currency and a mixture of beach, adventure and heritage holidays, Tunisia might have a bumper year despite Thomas Cook throwing a spanner in the works. 

A promotional campaign begins in the spring at both a national and regional level. Expect to see both travel agents and tour operators talking more frequently about the attractions of Tunisia.

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