Hiking in southern Tunisia

Cooperation in action Tunisia: Developing sustainable tourism options

After the political revolution of 2011, Tunisia continues to be faced with social and economic challenges. Economic development lacks momentum, and the official unemployment rate has become even higher as a result of the pandemic. This particularly affects young people and women, especially in inland regions.

Tourism is one of the most important industries in Tunisia's economy. It accounts for thousands of jobs, which, however, are to be found mainly in the coastal areas. Through its development cooperation, Germany has therefore been supporting the development of tourism products in adjacent and economically less successful regions of the country.

Working together to tap additional potential

As part of a project to foster sustainable tourism, efforts are under way to expand and improve tourism programmes with a focus on culture and nature, especially in inland areas. This will help to boost the national economy and improve employment in Tunisia. The project is being implemented in cooperation with the Tunisian Ministry of Tourism. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) finances this project together with the European Union (EU).

There is cooperation with the Tunisian Ministry of Tourism, national federations and associations, and other public and private actors in order to foster the development of the tourism sector in Tunisia on a long-term basis.

Discovering Carthage by bicycle or hiking through deserts and oases

Discovering Carthage by bike

Discovering Carthage by bike

Discovering Carthage by bike

This project focuses on selected regions, where it creates or strengthens alternative tourism options related to culture, nature, and adventure. For example, a bicycle and pedestrian trail is being developed along the historical sites of Carthage. In the old city of Tunis, a series of weekend events at traditional souks was introduced in cooperation with local businesses, restaurants and artists. In southern Tunisia, efforts are under way to establish hiking trails that wind through the rocky desert areas, canyons and oases.

Special attractions with high tourism potential are being linked and supported by including them in thematic routes. For example, a movie route was presented in March 2022. It markets sites at which well-known movies were shot, for example Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and The English Patient. Efforts are also under way to develop a culinary route with activities focused on typical Tunisian agricultural products such as harissa, olive oil, and dates.

In parallel, the project helps to make the local tourism sector more competitive and improve regional marketing.

Hiking in southern Tunisia

Hiking in southern Tunisia

Hiking in southern Tunisia

Networking across industries

In addition, the project facilitates exchange among international and national stakeholders from the tourism sector and related industries, such as agriculture and crafts and trades. This gives rise to innovative business ideas which can strengthen Tunisia's economy across industries.

The joint project activities help to position tourism in Tunisia in both national and global markets. By diversifying its tourism options, Tunisia can attract visitors to other – previously unknown – regions of the country. This gives local people a chance to benefit from tourism value chains.

Project data

Envisaged duration: April 2019 to October 2024

Financial volume: 18.3 million euros

As at: 25/05/2022