Tunisia’s travel agencies hit as coronavirus pandemic pummels tourism

Tunisia’s travel agencies hit as coronavirus pandemic pummels tourism
Above, the Baths of Antoninus or Baths of Carthage is empty after measures were taken by authorities to prevent the spread of coronavirus on March 20, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 27 July 2020

Tunisia’s travel agencies hit as coronavirus pandemic pummels tourism

Tunisia’s travel agencies hit as coronavirus pandemic pummels tourism
  • Travel agencies are in ‘a very difficult situation’

DUBAI: Tunisia’s travel brokers took a massive hit during the first half as the coronavirus pandemic pummeled the country’s tourism industry, which accounts for up to 14 percent national output.

Business in the travel brokerage sector, with about 1,300 travel agencies and nearly 20,000 travel agents, fell by up to 80 percent during the first half, Hatem Salhi, a senior official representing the industry, said in a report from state news agency TAP.

Travel agencies are in ‘a very difficult situation’, especially after the total of paralysis of trips, Salhi said.

The coronavirus revealed a set of weaknesses within the Tunisian system, such as the absence of an insurance law on ‘force majeure,’ he added, as he called on a single-sector and unified trade union.

Domestic tourism should be consolidated through the promotion of travel tours as well as cultural tourism, Salhi said.

Tunisia reopened its borders on June 27 and travelers from countries classified as ‘green’ – including France, Germany and Luxembourg – who are not subject to any coronavirus restrictions were slowly returning after a break of more than three months due to the coronavirus pandemic.