Tunisia tourism struggles after terror attacks

Tourist arrivals fall to lowest number in decades
A year after 39 tourists, most of them British, were gunned down on a beach in Sousse, Tunisia’s tourist industry is still struggling.
The hotel that was attacked, the Imperial Marhaba, still has bullet holes in the walls and remains closed, but it’s not the only one. Other hotels in the area have closed as visitors stay away.
Until the attack, and another on the Bardo national museum in the capital, tourism accounted for 8% of the country’s gross domestic product, providing thousands of jobs. But revenues were down 35% last year.
The number of English tourists is down by 98% in Sousse, tourism representatives say. More than half of the 9,000 visitors currently in the resort, which has 40,000 beds, are Russians.
“We think we will reopen next year,” said the Imperial Marhaba’s hotel manager Mehrez Saadi. “For now we start by changing the name from the Imperial Marhaba to Kantaoui Bay.”
Tourist arrivals fell to 5.5 million last year, the lowest in decades. Numbers are not expected to rise this year.
To help the situation, Tourism Minister Salma Elloumi Rekik is urging European leaders to support Tunisia by lifting travel warnings.


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