itbAt ITB Berlin Tunisia is focusing on three key themes: ’image, quality and product diversification’. Following a serious decline in tourism in 2011, the year of the revolution, a recovery is now under way. In 2013 tourist numbers from Germany equalled 424,000, which was almost on a par with previous figures. Arrivals from Russia and the UK were even higher than from Germany and rose by 25 per cent respectively.

In February Tunisia, widely regarded as the country responsible for the Arab Spring, passed a new constitution. Democratic elections are scheduled to take place in autumn.  “I am proud to be part of this moment “, said Amel Karboul at ITB Berlin. The 41-year old is Tunisia’s minister of tourism, a post she has occupied for one month, and the first woman to head this ministry. Karboul, who studied in Karlsruhe and speaks German fluently, is symbolic of the Tunisian tourism industry’s desire to start anew.

To date 80 per cent of tourists to this country have come for beach holidays. Karboul is looking to target new audiences. That includes marketing events such as concerts in the Sahara, events on the travels in Tunisia of the painters August Macke, Paul Klee and Louis Moilliet 100 years ago and the founding of Carthage 2,200 years ago. Kaboul: “Tunisia has a long history which we barely talk about.“ In order to promote individual trips and cultural tourism there are also plans for alternative types of accommodation such as bed & breakfast.