Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Tunisia looks to win back tourists with image makeover  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 23/03/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) Tunisia is working against the clock to salvage its 2014 tourist season after three turbulent years, by revamping the country's image -- with the help of online media and a few Star Wars characters."To change a country from one that is relatively inexpensive to a top-end tourist destination will take 10 or 15 years," said Amel Karboul, Tunisia's new tourism minister."But to change the image of a country from one that's cheap to one that is 'fun' can be done much more quickly, and that's a priority for us," she said, referring to perceptions of Tunisia as a budget holiday destination.The North African country hopes to welcome seven million tourists this year, a slight increase on the 6.9 million who visited in 2010 before the revolution that ousted a decades-old dictatorship and unleashed outbreaks of Islamist violence that damaged Tunisia's reputation.The number of tourists fell to just 4.7 million in 2011, and has only recovered slowly, affecting the estimated 400,000 people working in the key sector that accounts for around seven percent of Gross Domestic Product.- Using The Force -

To reverse this trend, the ministry decided to exploit the desert settings used for many scenes in the Star Wars films, in a Tunisian version of the music video hit "Happy" by US star Pharrell Williams, replicated on YouTube by people around the world dancing to the tune."Happy (We are from Tatooine)," commissioned by the ministry, features a range of characters from Star Wars boogying in and around the city of Tataouine, including the iconic droids R2-D2 and C-3PO, a stormtrooper and Darth Vader himself.The southern desert city gave its name to the fictional home planet of Anakin and Luke Skywalker -- key figures in the cult film series.The "Star Wars Tunisia" edition of the Pharrell Williams video has already received nearly 1.5 million hits (http://u.afp.com/fzc)."There are fans (of the sci-fi films) in the United States, in Scandinavia, in Asia, in South America, where Tunisia is barely known," the minister told a group of journalists last week."It will raise awareness of Tunisia," she said of her strategy to harness social media as a way of publicising the country.Conventional advertising campaigns "are extremely expensive and you're not sure of their impact; it's very long term. Tunisia has only limited means," explained Karboul, whose government has a very short-term mandate.Appointed in late January to end months of political uncertainty, it is due to step down after elections held by the end of this year.- Changing perceptions -Already it has had to deal with the fallout from an incident involving a group of Israeli tourists on a cruise ship who were barred from disembarking at Tunis, with the US-based cruise operator saying it would no longer call at Tunisian ports in protest.Karboul insisted the case had nothing to do with discrimination, saying merely that there was a problem with the Israelis' visas. Before the revolution, Tunisia managed to project an image of itself as an attractive holiday destination in the southern Mediterranean, concealing the ruthlessness of the regime in power that was finally overthrown in the first Arab Spring uprising in 2011.Many had hoped to see tourism rebound last year, but those hopes were dashed with the separate assassinations of two secular politicians in attacks that sparked political upheaval and fears of further jihadist violence.Even so, tourism receipts rose by a modest 1.7 percent to 3.23 billion dinars (1.5 billion euros/2.1 billion) from 2012, although they were 8.3 percent off the figure from 2010.Karboul said the country "is already safer," adding that growth was starting to recover in Europe, Tunisia's main tourism market.One of the ministry's objectives is to promote destinations away from the coast, which have previously attracted little attention."The coast is there, but we're trying to get out the fact that each region has its own character," Karboul said.Last month, several thousand people got a taste of the diverse tourist attractions on offer, at "Electronic Dunes," a desert music festival held in the southern desert.Karboul acknowledged that Tunisia's image had to reflect realities, and that certain services needed to be improved to boost tourism, such as rubbish collection, which has been repeatedly disrupted by the social protests and strikes since the revolution.

 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Dec 19 2014 - Int'l community responsible for protecting Palestinians: KuwaitArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) GENEVA Dec 18 (KUNA): Kuwait's permanent delegate to the UN agencies in Geneva Ambassador Jamal Al-Ghunaim said Wednesday the international community needs to shoulder its legal ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Kuwait- Early diagnosis key to defeat breast cancerArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) KUWAIT CITY Dec 18 (KUNA): Sheikha Hessa Saad Al- Abdullah Al-Sabah on Wednesday highlighted the importance of early detection in curbing the growth of various forms of cancer. ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Saudi- Host Maskan beats Nesma Inaya edges out Gilas 90-88Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Host team Maskan Arabia Co. brought down Nesma 105-92 while Inaya Medical College edged out S. Gilas 90-88 in the seventh week action in the 2nd Maskan Arabia Invitational ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Saudi- Faisaliah Team A and Courtyard Marriott triumph in Inter-Hotels Cricket eventArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Al Faisaliah Team A won its match against Riyadh Marriott while Al Faisaliah-Al Khozama combined Team B went down in defeat to Courtyard Marriott during Friday's matches in the ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Mathy powers to victory in Riyadh Wheelers 60km road raceArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) A new course used for the first time brought general approval from the 60 riders who signed on for the Riyadh Wheelers 60km road race and with no wind to bother the competitors ...

 Dec 19 2014 - SCTC ABTC-Taif ladies clash in finals Saudia Catering JRTC in ALBAIK Tennis semifinalsArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) SCTC and ABTC-Taif will dispute the Ladies Division HMX category finals after a grueling double round-robin while in the Men's Division LMX category four teams advanced to the ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Saudi- Hyundai Castrol takes third in 4th MYN 2014 JBL-Lifestylez tourneyArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Hyundai Castrol of Dennis Elmenzo beat Fuddruckers 72-53 to claim the third place in the 4th MYN Division at the Ahmed Mohammed Abdul Wahab Naghi Sports Complex in Ash Shati ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Saudi- Natco Desert Warriors win in JCA Money Gram CKB-T20Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The Money Gram-sponsored Cricket Ke Badshah T20 Tournament for the year 2015 under the auspices of Saudi Cricket Center (SCC) took off to a rousing start with 28 teams entered in ...

 Dec 19 2014 - UN seeks 8.4bn to help Syrian victimsArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) BERLIN: The UN appealed Thursday for $8.4 billion to provide emergency aid and longer-term help to nearly 18 million people in Syria and across the region hit by the drawn-out ...

 Dec 19 2014 - Saudi- Nigeria sentences 54 soldiers to deathArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) ABUJA Nigeria: Nigeria has sentenced 54 soldiers to death for mutiny assault cowardice and refusing to fight extremists.The court-martial charges all were connected to the ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help