thermes de Carthage Tunisia AdobeStock photlook

WTM news: New director general of Tunisia's national tourist office has big ambitions

Nabil Bezouiche, the new director general of Tunisia's National Tourist Office (ONTT), said the north African country is back on track towards meeting its visitor number goals.

He said that between 2010 and 2016, the goal was to reach 10 million visitors a year but this ambition suffered a setback after the terror attacks of 2015. However, this goal is set to be met with 2019 visitor numbers already exceeding 9 million.

Improvements in security since 2015 have played a big role in reviving Tunisia's tourism industry, which included consulting with experts from the UK and Germany to ensure security standards across the country were world class. Access to Tunisia is set to increase, which is also expected to boost tourist numbers, with Tui restarting flights to the destination for next summer. Travel Bulletin understands that easyJet is interested in restarting Tunisian routes.

Speaking exclusively to Travel Bulletin, Mr Bezouiche said that as well as meeting "qualitative goals", ONTT has set goals in relation to raising quality standards and ensuring bookings can be made with confidence. The first project is a quality label roll-out for hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and other travel industry and hospitality suppliers. This is a voluntary programme but the quality label will only be awarded to businesses that meet criteria set by ONTT.

The second project is a compulsory hotel classification system for properties rated between three and five stars. The rating system was developed in conjunction with ABTA and the major focuses of the classification are hygiene and security.

Digital engagement with partners across the travel industry will be stepped up as well. The aim is to make digital communication the main means of engagement with all stakeholders. for travel agents, ONTT will be extending its online training. The office has already conducted successful online training with agents and now there are plans to roll out a three-year online training project to engage travel agents across all markets.


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