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Tunisia tourist arrivals fall by 21.5 percent in first half

tunisia sidi bou said streetJust a day after the first anniversary of an attack by an Islamist gunman, who killed 38 tourists, Tunisia Tourism Ministry announced the number of foreign tourists that fell by 21.5 percent in the first six months of 2016 compared to the same period last year.

Tunisia’s tourism industry continues to suffer from last year’s terrorist attacks. The number of foreign tourists fell to 1.82 million in the Jan-June period from 2.32 million in the same period last year. The number of British tourists slumped to just 8,000 from 190,000 in the first half of 2015.

Last year tourist arrivals fell to 5.5 million, the lowest level in decades, after several European tour companies and cruise operators suspended operations in the wake of terrorist attacks.

A gunman killed 38, mostly British holidaymakers, on a beach in the resort of Sousse on June 26, 2015. Three months before the Sousse attack, on 18 March 2015, three militants attacked the Bardo National Museum in the Tunisian capital city of Tunis, and took hostages. Twenty-one people, mostly European tourists, were killed at the scene, while an additional victim died ten days later.

According to World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to Tunisia’s GDP in 2014 was TND6,132.7mn (7.4% of GDP). Travel & Tourism generated 230,500 jobs directly in 2014 (6.8% of total employment).

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