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Tourism in Tunisia - statistics & facts

Tunisia is among the most visited countries in Africa. Its landscapes, beaches, the Sahara Desert, and the ruins from the ancient Roman and Phoenician civilizations attract millions of tourists each year. However, the tourism industry in the country has been suffering in the last decade due to the 2011 Revolution, the 2015 terrorist attacks, and the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Specifically, the global health crisis caused the sharpest fall in the number of inbound tourists, which declined by around 100 percent in April 2020 compared to the previous year.

National security and coronavirus-affected inbound tourism

From 2010 onwards, the number of inbound tourists in Tunisia has fluctuated due to different factors. Before the COVID-19 pandemic caused a crisis for the tourism industry, Tunisia had been concerned with the escalation of violence and political instability during the 2011 Revolution. A few years later, in 2015, terrorist attacks targeted tourist attractions in the country, causing 22 deaths in a tourist resort in Sousse and 38 deaths in the Bardo National Museum in Tunis. Whether concerning national security or the pandemic, those periods were characterized by general instability, which resulted in a decline in the number of international tourist arrivals. Except for these periods, Tunisia has always been counting between seven and eight million annual visitors, mostly from Africa and Europe. After the COVID-19 pandemic is over, inbound tourism is forecast to recover gradually.

Main travel destinations and attractions

For many international tourists, going on vacation to Tunisia means enjoying a crystal clear sea and golden sand. The island of Jerba and the coastal areas of Zarzis and Gabes are among the country’s most popular destinations, accounting for the highest number of overnight stays by international tourists in 2019. Visitors also flock to historical sites of Tunisia to learn more about the country's past. The Archeological Site of Carthage, which includes the vestiges of the ancient Phoenician and Roman civilizations, is the most visited attraction in the country, together with the Amphitheatre of El Jem and the Bardo National Museum in Tunis.

Declining economic contribution

Tourism is one of the main industries in Tunisia and usually constitutes a profitable segment of the country's large service sector. In normal times, the tourism industry significantly contributes to the country's economy, as well as to the job market. For instance, tourist sites, attractions, transports, hotels, and accommodation facilities directly generated 94.4 thousand jobs in 2019. However, the aforementioned periods of crisis also impacted tourism revenues. Due to the pandemic, tourism's contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) declined to six percent in 2020, compared to 12 percent in the previous year.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Tourism in Tunisia" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Inbound tourism

Outbound tourism

Hotels and accommodation

Employment contribution

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 31 most important statistics relating to "Tourism in Tunisia".

Tourism in Tunisia

Dossier on the topic

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Tourism in Tunisia - statistics & facts

Tunisia is among the most visited countries in Africa. Its landscapes, beaches, the Sahara Desert, and the ruins from the ancient Roman and Phoenician civilizations attract millions of tourists each year. However, the tourism industry in the country has been suffering in the last decade due to the 2011 Revolution, the 2015 terrorist attacks, and the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Specifically, the global health crisis caused the sharpest fall in the number of inbound tourists, which declined by around 100 percent in April 2020 compared to the previous year.

National security and coronavirus-affected inbound tourism

From 2010 onwards, the number of inbound tourists in Tunisia has fluctuated due to different factors. Before the COVID-19 pandemic caused a crisis for the tourism industry, Tunisia had been concerned with the escalation of violence and political instability during the 2011 Revolution. A few years later, in 2015, terrorist attacks targeted tourist attractions in the country, causing 22 deaths in a tourist resort in Sousse and 38 deaths in the Bardo National Museum in Tunis. Whether concerning national security or the pandemic, those periods were characterized by general instability, which resulted in a decline in the number of international tourist arrivals. Except for these periods, Tunisia has always been counting between seven and eight million annual visitors, mostly from Africa and Europe. After the COVID-19 pandemic is over, inbound tourism is forecast to recover gradually.

Main travel destinations and attractions

For many international tourists, going on vacation to Tunisia means enjoying a crystal clear sea and golden sand. The island of Jerba and the coastal areas of Zarzis and Gabes are among the country’s most popular destinations, accounting for the highest number of overnight stays by international tourists in 2019. Visitors also flock to historical sites of Tunisia to learn more about the country's past. The Archeological Site of Carthage, which includes the vestiges of the ancient Phoenician and Roman civilizations, is the most visited attraction in the country, together with the Amphitheatre of El Jem and the Bardo National Museum in Tunis.

Declining economic contribution

Tourism is one of the main industries in Tunisia and usually constitutes a profitable segment of the country's large service sector. In normal times, the tourism industry significantly contributes to the country's economy, as well as to the job market. For instance, tourist sites, attractions, transports, hotels, and accommodation facilities directly generated 94.4 thousand jobs in 2019. However, the aforementioned periods of crisis also impacted tourism revenues. Due to the pandemic, tourism's contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) declined to six percent in 2020, compared to 12 percent in the previous year.

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