Tunisia reaches out to UNWTO to get travel advisories removed
The U.S. State Department putting Tunisia as a category 2 risk for U.S. citizens to travel to. This is on the same level as Germany or the Bahamas, but not as severe as a category 3 warning against Turkey. The U.S. State Department wants citizens to exercise increase caution in Tunisia due to terrorism and lists regions where one shouldn’t go.
Tourism is a major revenue source for Tunisia, and the country has been working hard to overcome a number of deadly terror attacks where tourists were the target.
Currently the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili is in Tunisia meeting with the Head of the Tunisian Government Youssef Chahed. He told UNWTO the country had made a lot of efforts have been made to improve security for both citizens and visitors through effective deployment of effective security and counter terrorism measures.
On his part, Pololikashvili commended the country for taking steps to ensure that tourism development and growth remained a priority and continues to play a pivotal role in the economy of Tunisia.
He mentioned that Tunisia was one of the first countries in the Mediterranean basin to identify the strategic value of tourism development. Tunisia, he said has been able to adapt to different challenges and also seized the opportunity of air connectivity and visa openness in recent years. UNWTO encourages Tunisia to its high visibility in the tourism sector, always against the backdrop of sustainable operations for the benefit of the local population and lasting opportunities emerging from tourism.
This, the UNWTO Boss states is particularly true for tourism as a resilient sector as Tunisia itself is experiencing: international tourist arrivals grew above 23% in 2017. Pololikashvili averred that the UNWTO is committed to supporting sustainable tourism development in Tunisia.
The UNWTO Secretary General is on a two day working visit to the country and being accompanied by Zhu Shanzhong , UNWTO’s Executive Director and Director of Africa Department Ms Elcia Grandcourt.
Tunisia is concerned about travel advisories remaining in Japan and the United States.
UNWTO has little influence on travel advisories by the countries most important to Tunisia in Tourism. The UNWTO chief met with local media in Tunisia, but an international global press support was not part of the agenda. Tunisia urgently needs global outreach and positive media support.