JEDDAH: Buoyed by the improving investment climate in Tunisia, the northern African nation expects to see investments of TND 300 million ($97 million) in the third quarter of 2022, said the Minister of Tourism Mohamed Moez Belhassine.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 116th Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization, the minister told Arab News en Français that the country is gathering pace on the investment front, with over 100 percent of the stakeholders intending to raise capital.
“We have seen investment intentions in the tourism sector exceed 100 percent and expect to have TND 300 million in the third quarter of 2022,” said Belhassine.
“The recovery proves a renewed confidence among large chains and travel groups to choose Tunisia as their vacation destination,” he said while adding that the market also offers a huge opportunity for alternative tourism.
According to the US-based nonprofit body Medical Tourism Association, Tunisia ranks 38 out of 46 global destinations on the 2020-2021 Medical Tourism Index. Its sunshine and beaches also make it a premier tourist destination.
The country has also been working toward increasing tourism’s contribution to its gross domestic product from 14 percent now to beyond 20 percent in the coming years.
“Tunisian tourism is a key sector of the economy, representing 14 percent of the gross domestic product and offering nearly 400,000 direct and indirect job opportunities. The next step is increasing the sector’s contribution to 20 percent,” Belhassine added.
He aims to achieve this by deploying tourism 4.0, a business model that bets on technology, innovation and creativity to improve collaboration among stakeholders and ward off the negative influence of tourism.
According to Tunisia’s National Institute of Statistics, the country’s economy grew by 2.4 percent in the first quarter of this year, driven by growth in the tourism and agriculture sectors.
The tourism sector was up 11.2 percent compared to the same period last year.
“Today, we are talking tourism 4.0, a digital as well as an ecological revolution for tourism,” he said while adding his focus on inclusive and resilient tourism.
Stressing his country’s commitment to responsible tourism, Belhassine added: “The entire tourism ecosystem in Tunisia has taken the initiative to engage in an ecological approach and to participate in collective action for social and environmental responsibility.”