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Destinations in South-East Tunisia: new approaches and skills in the tourism sector

The main objective of the project is to contribute to the attractiveness of South-East Tunisia through new approaches and skills for the development of sustainable, diversified and inclusive tourism. This will improve the income and living conditions of the local population. Since the revolution in 2011, 2018 has seen the best tourism result with 7.5 million tourists (an increase of 17% compared to 2017).

Tunisia plans to be among the top three destinations in the world by 2020. However, the sector is in urgent need of reform and diversification. This is linked to the following challenges: lack of diversity of supply - this is concentrated in all-round resorts and hotels, endemic debt which weighs on investment and the quality of infrastructure, unequal quality of services, inadequate training and working conditions, and the sector's lack of profitability. Finally, the increase in competition (Egypt, Morocco) requires new tourist offers adapted to the region. Although the occupancy rate has improved significantly over the last two years, the quality of services is regularly judged to be disappointing, and the added value of tourism is still very low.

The challenge now is to promote alternative accommodation, develop inland and short-stay tourism and enhance cultural sites.

The Project

The project is part of an integrated and territorial development logic. It is being implemented in south-east Tunisia and at national level and is based on local experience. In continuity with the Destination Djebel Dahar project initiated in 2015 and financed by SECO, the project activities focus on three added values:

  1. The DMO (Destination Management Organisation) concept The experience gained from the pilot project in Dahar is a prime example of new approaches in the marketing positioning of a destination, the introduction of new marketing instruments and the establishment of a regional tourism governance.
  2. Vocational education and training to meet the qualification needs of existing alternative accommodation and related services
  3. Adaptation of national laws that promote new forms of tourism.

The project is active in four provinces in south-east Tunisia (Gabès, Kébili, Médenine, Tatouine). It mobilises public local and national actors and professional organisations involved in tourism and vocational training, as well as service providers and associations that promote alternative and sustainable tourism.

Results

Expected results of the project

  • Djerba's DMO is established, operational and has a sustainable financial structure
  • Dahar's DMO is consolidated in terms of management and financial resources; and in Ksar Ghilane a process for the development of local projects has been introduced
  • Collective actions to protect the environment and/or cultural heritage and/or social issues are supported
  • Tourism-related initiatives are supported by the private sector
  • A community space for reflection, ideas and innovation is created
  • Training courses for hotel and catering, parahotel industry, tourism marketing, tourism professions, products and services are developed, managers are trained in innovative approaches to sustainable tourism
  • The legal framework for the development of alternative tourism will be improved
  • Synergies with other programmes will be developed

Project partner

Ministry of Tourism and Handicrafts (MTA), Tunisian National Tourist Office (ONTT), Regional Tourist Offices (CRT), Federation of Authentic Tourism Destination Dahar (FTADD), Association for the Protection of the Island of Djerba (ASSIDJE), Tunisian Federation of Hotels (FTH) and its regional branches, Tunisian Federation of Travel and Tourism Agencies (FTAV) and its regional branches, vocational training agencies and centres, Réseau des Entreprises d'Entraînement de Tunisie (ReeT), municipalities and other relevant services, etc 

Project countries

  • Tunisia

Project duration

2019 - 2023

Funding

  • SECO

Working area

Enterprise

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