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Tunisia expects up to 600,000 tourists from Russia in 2018 — minister

According to official statistics, more than 1.1 million Russian tourists visited Tunisia in 2016 and 2017

TUNIS, February 27. /TASS/. The Tunisian authorities are interested in increasing the tourist flow from Russia and expect that up to 600,000 Russians can visit the country by the end of this year, Tunisian Minister of Tourism and Handicrafts Salma Elloumi Rekik told TASS on Tuesday in the run-up to her working visit to Moscow.

"We expect to receive from 550,000 to 600,000 Russian tourists in 2018, which is a 6-percent increase compared to last year," she said. "We have all the resources that are necessary to achieve that goal."

According to the minister, a targeted communication strategy has been developed and is being implemented in Tunisia to attract visitors from Russia. "This strategy focuses on all types of digital technologies and implies energetic efforts online and in social networks to register any changes in Russian tourists’ preferences," she noted. "These steps will be backed by an advertising campaign, which includes using billboards for visual information on destination points in major departure cities."

The minister noted that, to attract new tourists, the Tunisian authorities are actively working on alternatives to traditional beach vacations. The guests of the North African country will be offered ecological and medical tourism, including thalassotherapy, while those who opt for outdoor activities will have an opportunity to try their hand at golf, in addition to beach soccer, volleyball and tennis.

Commenting on tourists’ safety in Tunisia, Salma Elloumi Rekik stressed this is a priority issue for the Tunisian government. "We fully understand your concern, which is ours as well, but we can assure you that security has been restored. Security continues to be a national priority for Tunisia’s government, which uses all available resources, including human and technical, to tighten it," she added. "We continue to strengthen and improve safety systems in collaboration with the law enforcement agencies."

Popular destination

Today, Tunisia is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Russian citizens. The past two years saw record numbers of tourists from our country. According to official statistics, more than 1.1 million Russian tourists visited Tunisia in 2016 and 2017. Tourism is a driving force for relations between the two countries.

Over the past two years, Salma Elloumi Rekik paid official visits to Russia three times. The minister’s working visit to Moscow is scheduled for March 5-7, 2018.