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Tunisia eyes more North African tourists

Tunisia, which is among top African tourist destinations, is seeking to attract more tourists from neighboring North African countries as the sector is shadowed by forecasted recession in European economies, official TAP news agency reported on Thursday.


According to the report, Tunisia has organized tourism days to promote sightseeing in traditional markets of Morocco, Libya and Algeria.


The four tourism days is taking place for the first time in Morocco with targets to consolidate Tunisian destination and highlight its services quality and various products.

More than 1.5 million Libyan tourists, 1 million Algerians and nearly 30,000 Moroccans visited the country in 2007, TAP said.


The lion's share of tourists comes from Europe, especially France, Germany and Britain whose tourists seek for sun, sea and good services in doorstep. But Tunisia estimates that fewer European holidaymakers will visit the country following the economic recession in Europe.


It expects the first repercussion will hit in the first quarter next year with a record cancellation.


Tourism is the main contributor to Tunisia's foreign currency revenues and employment, with some 380,000 direct and indirect jobs, said the government figures.


According to the World Economic Forum's Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2007, Tunisia ranked among the leading countries in terms of strategic and political priorities devoted to tourism sectors.


(Xinhua News Agency December 19, 2008)