The Tunisian National Tourist Office delivered a message of strong optimism at WTM, reasserting that ‘Tunisia is back’ and ready to receive tourists.

The news comes on the back of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s decision in July earlier this year to relax its travel advice to the country following a succession of checks by British authorities showing that improvement of security on the ground had reached requested levels.

Mounira Ben Cherifa, director of the Tunisian National Tourist Office in the UK, was on hand at the stand to comment. She said: “We are expecting the British to come back to Tunisia as we have so much to offer and for them to enjoy. Tunisia is a very good value-for-money destination for family budgets and there are lots of things to be discovered, from our culture and history to spa and Sahara, all found within close proximity to the UK and only a two-and-a-half hour flight time away.”

In terms of overall tourist figures the destination is up 18% in comparison to the same period last year with an expectation that UK visitor numbers are to increase from 28,000 this year to 60,000 for next year.

This increase in UK numbers is also expected to be fuelled in part by the re-launch of Thomas Cook packages which will start up again in the middle of February 2018.

Research by World Travel Market London, released on Monday November 6, found that one in five British holidaymakers would consider travel to Tunisia. A poll of more than one thousand Brits who have taken a holiday in 2017 were asked: ‘The UK government has recently removed its advice against travelling to Tunisia. How likely are you to visit the country in the future?’ Almost one in ten (9%) said ‘somewhat likely’; 7% said ‘quite likely’; and 4% said ‘extremely likely’. This gave a total of 20% who felt positive about a trip to Tunisia.

Cherifa commented: “It’s a good figure. Mainly this range will likely comprise of the tourists that know Tunisia very well and who used to be faithful to the destination. Tunisia is back in business and is as safe as any European country. Risk zero unfortunately no longer exists in our world today but the most important thing to consider is that the Tunisian reactivity of our security forces has improved tremendously and all those who have visited Tunisia during the last year have come back home safely.”

The National Tourist Office is to continue its strategy of attending agent road shows, working with travel agents to provide them with the latest news, product launches and brands investing in Tunisia straight away. It will also be organising future fam trips so that agents can have the opportunity to “taste the product and to taste Tunisia” for themselves.

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