Inbound tourism rebounds post political and terrorist crises

Tourism revenues in Tunisia increased by 23% in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017, as the industry gradually recovered from the two major attacks on foreign holidaymakers in 2015.

Tourism minister Salma Loumi says that the number of foreign visitors to Tunisia could reach a record eight million in 2018.

Revenues increased by 23%, from 124 million euros in the first three months of 2017 to 153 million euros in the first quarter of 2018, says the Ministry of Tourism.

The major European tour operators have resumed sending holidaymakers to Tunisia this year, after having shunned the country because of the 2015 attacks in Sousse (where 38 tourists, including 30 British, died) and in Tunis (where 21 tourists died).

Visitor numbers to Turkey picked up significantly in 2017, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute. 38.6 million tourists visited Turkey over the course of the year, compared to 31.4 million in 2016. Income from tourism was up as well; the last quarter of 2017 saw an increase in tourism income of 27.7%.

The tourism ministry expects Turkey to have 38 million tourists in 2018. In 2017 4.7 million Russians went to the country, and the ministry predicts 6 million in 2018.

The top five source countries, in order, for the first two months of 2018 are Iran, Georgia, Bulgaria, Germany and Russia.

In the wake of a series of bomb attacks, a diplomatic crisis with Russia and a failed coup attempt, Turkey’s tourism sector saw a big slump in 2016, with the number of foreign arrivals regressing to 25 million from 36.2 million in 2015. With the rebound, Turkey had 32 million tourists in 2017.