With the approach of the high season, tour operators, travel agencies and hoteliers are busy selling as many stays as possible. Promotions ranging from 20 to 50%, reductions for the first reservations in Early Booking, All Inclusive offers at low prices, everything has been done to attract a maximum of local and foreign customers.
Knowing that the tourism sector has suffered an unprecedented crisis for two consecutive years due to health restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year also promises to be difficult despite the improvement in epidemiological indicators. The tourist sector will be confronted more with another challenge, that of the repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, sales forecasts and reservations from the Russian and Ukrainian market are uncertain, even declining a priori, despite the start of the year 2022 under good auspices. The number of border arrivals increased by 23%, tourist receipts by 12% and the number of overnight stays by 36%, said Tourism Minister Moez Belhassine last April.
But with the new international context, Tunisian hoteliers will have to further diversify their offers, focusing on local domestic and regional markets, given that the 30,000 Ukrainian tourists registered in 2019 will not be back this year. And the hope of welcoming 60,000 tourists as in 2019, the largest market for Tunisia, has visibly evaporated with the possible rise in prices.
In order to prevent the impact of these difficulties, travel agencies have implemented their usual marketing strategy. The work began in the month of Ramadan which has just ended. The Tunisian clientele is targeted, initially, with discounted rates, ranging from 60DT per person to 250DT per night in a double room in a 3 to 5* hotel.
But with the economic crisis, the expenses of the last period, between Ramadan and Aid, Tunisian families do not seem attracted by these offers. This was confirmed to us by a consultant in a renowned travel agency in Tunis.
According to her, despite the existence of promotions sometimes reaching 70% of tourist establishments, especially those located in the most popular areas in high season such as Hammamet, Sousse, and Djerba, these places are currently almost empty.
For summer reservations, several customers have become more informed thanks to social networks and audiovisual media, and make their reservations in advance in Early Booking to win attractive promotions of 20 to 30% regardless of the classification of the establishment. “But it is still early to know how the tourist season will unfold in this exceptional year, especially since prices will be on the rise due to the absence of the Eastern European market, previously attracted by formulas with reduced price against All Inclusive. Sales forecasts for the Algerian market are not yet discernible in this mid-season. It is during this month of May that things will become clearer, ”she believes.
Moreover, the Tunisians have already launched their reservations. “Stays in family residences for the summer have so far been very rare. But the concept of opting for guest houses instead of hotels is taking root more and more, given their competitive prices,” adds this tourism professional.
Recall that the Ministry of Tourism with the Tunisian National Tourist Office (ONTT) have planned a tourism recovery strategy which revolves around 7 main axes: the health component, transport, safety, diversification, marketing, communication and socio-economic plan. -economic. This strategy also includes immediate financial support stimulus measures for establishments hit by the health crisis. Without forgetting the regular update of the health protocol and the continuous relaxation of entry into Tunisia.
This strategic plan plans to reach 50 to 60% of tourism performance before the pandemic, announced the head of government Nejla Bouden, during the last ministerial council. Supporting players in the sector, professional structures, and overcoming the repercussions of the health crisis, in addition to the diversification of the tourist offer are at the center of the priorities of this recovery plan.
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Tunisia / Tourism: Offers for the high season abound, Tunisians are the first targeted – Gnet news