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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.


    The project will create a new tourist offer, alternative or complementary to the seaside destination of Djerba located in the same area, already very old and known worldwide. This offer will attract visitors to a region near Djerba, rich in potential but still little or not exploited by existing agencies. As well as attracting new  tourists to the region and more generally to Tunisia.

    The second phase of the project will aim to create a professional structure to manage and promote the destination ("DMO structure"), according to an organisational and legal model that will be chosen by the actors based on different experiences from other countries, which the project can bring.

    This structure will provide the region with an autonomous organization that can operate without project support in order to: (i) conduct appropriate professional marketing, (ii) pursue the professionalization and expansion of the service providers' offer, (iii) establish and monitor the standards to be respected in terms of quality and environment and in order to maintain "authentic" tourism that minimizes negative impacts. 

    Project countries

    • Tunisia

    Project duration

    2016 - 2018


    • SECO

    Working area


    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