Italy and Tunisia closer than ever


ITALY (eTN) – The countries of Italy and Tunisia will sign an agreement for cultural tourism. This is what emerged during a meeting in Rome at the offices of the Ministry for Relations with the Regions, between the Minister for Regional Affairs, Tourism, and Sport, Piero Gnudi, and the Minister of Tourism of Tunisia, Elyes Fakhfakh.

The ministers, confirming the long tradition of friendship and cooperation between the two countries agreed on the importance of tourism as an element of economic recovery in Italy and Tunisia. The agreement, moreover, can also be seen as a step towards greater integration among the nations of the Euro-Mediterranean.

This is a suitable choice, therefore, in this moment of international economic situation and the important and delicate phase of political evolution in Tunisia. In this context, Minister Fakhfakh invited Minister Gnudi to participate as a speaker at the International Conference on Tourism to be held in the island of Djerba on April 16-17, 2012.

Gnudi and Fakhfakh also agreed to develop a partnership agreement that – in addition to the development of cultural tourism routes – will have the strength training of tourism personnel.

The numbers of rebirth in Tunisia, according to the Arabic-speaking newspaper Assahafa, from January 1 to February 20, 2012, show tourist arrivals in Tunisia reaching 478,412, representing a +72.2 percent increase over the same period of 2011. The tourist market was driven by arrivals from neighboring countries – notably Libya, Morocco and Algeria – showing a marked increase of about 76 percent.

Tourist arrivals from Europe to Tunisia also increased to +51.8 percent, with French and Germans at the top. Therefore, receipts also have soared due to incoming tourism in the North African country, having reached 142 million euros, from 106.5 million euros last year.