Tourism Development in Tunisia

Tourism in Tunisia is one of the main economic sectors and is the second largest source of currency for the country. This sector is in severe economic crisis since the Revolution of 2011 and is also in crisis from a structural point of view: Tunisia's exclusive seaside tourist resort is facing a growing and overwhelming global competition. This has resulted in a relative decline in the added value of the sector, which is also heavily over-indebted.


The diversification of Tunisian tourism towards alternative, "gentle" tourism, oriented towards the respect for the environment and the populations, and that offers visitors cultural or relaxation products other than the seaside offer, is a necessary shift for the Tunisian economy. It is all the more interesting because mass tourism remains limited to the most economically developed coastal areas, with little impact on the country's inner regions, which are poorer and more heavily hit by exodus and emigration, the source of the revolution.

The Project

Funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). and implemented by Swisscontact, aims to develop tourism in the mountainous area of ​​Djebel Dahar, a disadvantaged region in southeastern Tunisia (Governorates of Gabes, Medenine and Tataouine) Particularly affected by unemployment and the exodus of young people.This is accomplished through the establishment of a Destination Management Organization (DMO). Its purpose is to generate income and create jobs to enable women to earn income and young people to build a future in the region, while enhancing local potential (interesting from a tourism development perspective), but also a strong expression of identity for the populations. The main objective of the project is to promote integrated tourism, preserving and enhancing the local heritage - particularly the Berber tradition - and respecting the environment.


The project also aims at the promotion of job-generating tourism with a maximum of economic benefits remaining in the region (added value, profits, indirect income), by building upon the engagement of local providers and populations, and above all, that of local promoters and investors.

Results

  • Creation of the Djebel Dahar Destination Management Agency (DMO), the result of conducting a participatory process with more 160 tourism stakeholders, public, private and associations
  • Facilitating the linkages between private service providers and public authorities and support for the legalisation of 19 providers in the informal sector (accommodation and catering)
  • Study tour in Switzerland for 10 executives of the Ministry, the Office National Tourism Tunisian (ONTT) and the National Federation of Travel Agencies
  • Training of 24 tourist establishments
  • Training in marketing-promotion for 30 service providers, creation of 30 websites in progress
  • Training of 15 ONTT agents and 13 travel agents
  • Development of two tourist information points in Matmata and at Djerba airport
  • Design of Food & Beverage Kits (regional recipe cards)
  • Scientific and promotional documentation of 35 tourist sites
  • Development of promotional materials: website (www.destinationdahar.org), brochure, tourist map application
  • Promotion of the Dahar Destination: participation in fairs and tourism shows, promotional campaigns on Facebook and Instagram (more than 30 000 followers), invitation of bloggers and tourism journalists, etc.
  • Design study, feasibility study and roadmap for the creation of a UNESCO Geopark
  • Pilot waste management project in the village of Chenini.

Project countries

  • Tunisia

Project duration

2016 - 2018

Funding

  • SECO

Working area

Enterprise

Swisscontact
Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@STOP-SPAM.swisscontact.org