Russians are happy to spend their holidays in the sun in Tunisia, where it is very cold at home. (Illustration: Tunisian hoteliers miss Russian tourists very much this year).
To Habib Grenza *
Westerners are surprised to discover what Russians have replaced in foreign travel and how their sanctions have had a positive impact on Vladimir Putin’s country by boosting domestic tourism.
The economic sanctions decided following the outbreak of the Russian war in Ukraine have actually contributed to the development of Russia’s domestic tourism, contrary to the expectations of the West, especially the European nations that run heaven under the rule of the United States. Did. And the earth does not give visas to Russian tourists. Unfortunately, this did not benefit Europe. Europe has accelerated its decline by subordinating too much to American dictates, but that is another geopolitical issue.
Russia has shown that every crisis has a solution. And I hope that those in charge of tourism in Tunisia will receive Russia’s message and find a solution to help their tourism sector emerge from the crisis that has been in decline for years. and I believe that the will is enough.
125,000 tourist beds remain vacant
In fact, Tunisia has more than 250,000 accommodation beds to accommodate more than 20 million tourists annually, but unfortunately the average annual hotel occupancy rate does not reach 50%. This means that on average 125,000 beds remain vacant, especially during the low and medium seasons. If you are serious about the profitability of your tourism infrastructure, you should adjust this factor. This means, among other things, that tourism in the Sahara must be boosted. Russians are happy to spend their holidays in the sun in Tunisia, where it is very cold at home.
Why not seek out Russian tourists who know Tunisia well to deal with the crisis we are currently experiencing? , more than 350,000 Russians have been holidaying in Tunisia since early 2016. This number doubled in 2017. This is enough to strengthen political ties with Putin’s country, which could soon welcome over 3 million Russian tourists a year. We can also strengthen our trade relationships with countries that produce the grains, metals, fertilizers and animal feed we import. The country may import certain agrifood and manufactured products from us. If that happens, the Tunisian economy will turn around.
Breaking out of foreign policy lethargy
Our problem is that our foreign policy is deeply lethargic. Privileged relations with Algeria alone are not enough to get us out of the crisis, especially as the results of our exchanges with the European Union have become dangerously stagnant and no longer truly serve our interests. . Therefore, we need to look more to Africa, to the Brix, to stimulate new dynamics that will bring tourism back to its former profitability.
The role of the Tunisian Federation of Hotels (FTH) and the Tunisian Federation of Travel Agents (FTAV) is to build bridges between Tunisia and selected countries to restart the tourism sector that has caused so much damage to the national community. is. and avoid its collapse.
Regarding charter flights in particular, I conclude this post by arguing that we need to work with Turkish Airlines, a Turkish airline that has a lot of resources in this area and is well deployed in Russia and Eastern Europe.
*Export advisor certified by the Tunisian Ministry of Commerce.