More than 6 million tourists visit Tunisia from January 1 to November 10 (Rekik)
16/11/2017 16:04, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - The number of tourists who visited Tunisia during the period from January 1 to November 10, 2017 reached 6.112 million, up 24%, compared to the same period of 2016, according to the latest figures unveiled by the Minister of Tourism Salma Elloumi Rekik.

Speaking at a hearing session held Thursday by the Parliamentary Agriculture, Food Security, Trade and Services Committee, the minister said "this positive development is due to the improvement of the indicators of the European markets which rose 19.3%, including the French market up 47.5%, with 517 thousand tourists, ahead of Russian market with 513 thousand tourists.

"The German, British, Belgian and Scandinavian markets posted an increase of 43.5%, 18.4%, 121% and 28%, respectively,” said the minister.

This positive trend will continue for the remainder of the current year, given the bookings made and the sector professionals’ forecasts, she also said, noting that "this upward trend has also concerned the Maghreb markets (in 33% increase).

The Algerian market ranks first with nearly 2.050 million visitors, which is a new record for this market.

As for the Libyan tourists, their number was 1,140 million tourists, up 17%.

"Some new markets also saw a marked improvement, like the Chinese market up 190% with the arrival of 16,000 tourists, and the Gulf market that grew by 18.4% with 38,251 tourists, "she pointed out, noting that the number of nights spent as of October 31, 2017 has risen by 22.7% compared to the same period of 2016 to 20,148 million overnight stays.

She also said that the number of overnight stays by European tourists reached nearly 11 million overnight stays as of October 31, 2017, against 9 million during the same period of 2016.

Domestic tourism also contributed to this increase with 5.500 million overnight stays, i.e. an improvement of 22% compared to 2016.

The minister also spoke of "the evolution recorded by the tourist revenues that have reached 2,478 MD on November 10, 2017, against 2,057 MD during the same period of 2016, up 3.17%.

The volume of revenue during this period of 2017 is equal to € 929 million, up 3% compared to 2016".

In this regard, Elloumi Rekik discussed the foreign exchange problem outside the legal channels, which has a negative impact on the sector's foreign exchange revenues, calling for intensified control efforts and the installation of exchange offices at border crossings and tourist areas.

She also highlighted the improvement of the craft sector’s indicators during the first 10 months of the current year, saying overall investment in this sector has risen 16.8% over the same period in 2016, from 22,039 MD to 25,742 MD.

The value of its direct and indirect exports also increased by 6.9% to 540 MD.

The number of jobs created also grew 8.9%, from 8,852 during the first 10 months of 2016 to 9,614 during the same period of 2017.

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