Moez Kacem sets the scene : "We are going through a crisis unusual, we've never experienced it. It is colossal ! "This university and an international expert on tourism states that," according to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the impact will be five times higher than the one which followed the crisis of 2008 ". "All the crises that we have experienced previously were defined in time or geography : the Ebola-affected West Africa, the terrorist acts of 2015 in Tunisia were one-off," says the analyst. The biggest difficulty ? "The lack of visibility with respect to the preparation or the finalization of a vaccine ". If Tunisia gets a clean bill of health from the WHO for its health management, " this has no value if this is not the case in Algeria." Figures from the tourism industry are "scary" : "the industry is at a standstill since Europe closed its borders ". Hotels closed, had fallen asleep on the tarmac : "It is almost how no one, even on the domestic market. "The annual losses billion, according to Kacem," the 5 billion dinars ". The minister of Tourism ad 6 when the Central Bank is about 4.
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Nine years, four crises and three résiliences
a year ago, in the summer sun of may, Hammamet lived, often showing full, the crowd in the promenade. Today, the hotels are steamers that lie at the side of the Mediterranean. Only the maintenance teams work. In this seaside city, Mouna Allani Ben Halima is the CEO of the Badira, hotel category luxury. The property is closed from 17 march. It was reopened from April 20 to may 4 to accommodate 50 persons placed in quarantine. The situation is rageante as " 2019 was a profitable year for the overwhelming majority of the actors of the tourist sector ". The sector was recovering from the three attacks, which have cast a shadow on Tunisia in 2019 with 9 million visitors, the record was 10 million in 2010. Crash : the tour operator Thomas Cook announced its bankruptcy last September 23, " leaving the slate in a fifty hotels, including the most prestigious ". The TB had negotiated to its advantage, following the collapse of attendance, a return to favorable prices in the best hotels of the country : "The unpaid Cook hoteliers to amount to 50 million dinars, no millime has not been paid," says Mouna Allani Ben Halima, also a member of the FTH, the tunisian Federation of hotels.
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Objective : re-opening of the June 11
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half of The hotels will not be able to pay the wages of may
The judgment of the sector since mid-march has siphoned off the cash to some institutions. "15 % of them have not been able to pay the salaries of march, 40 % April, this will be 50 % in may," she says. "The tunisian government should put in place a credit line of 500 million dinars to save the jobs, prefigures Moez Kacem. It needs to be fast and apply easily. "He recalls that in" 2015, at the time of the attacks of the Bardo and Sousse, the State has enacted a number of measures, but only one could be applied, the administrative barriers that have blocked the other ". The travel agencies are affected : "They must cope with the non-refund of air tickets by the airlines, so that they, the agencies, have had to reimburse their customers. "He notes that" the banks turn a deaf ear, do not behave as the father of a family, they are waiting for a government decree to leave some room for their customers, this is disappointing ". Last point : some tour operators have not paid for the months of January-February.
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The benefits of tourism tunisian
"If nobody is capable of predict what is going to happen the season, the beginning of the year was good, more than 20% over the first two months," explains Moez Kacem. It will list the strong points of the country to " try to save the end of the year ". First point : "the good management of the Covid-19 by the health authorities, it is necessary to know ". For six days, the country recorded no new cases, no deaths. There have been a total of 1 032 cases and 45 deaths. Second advantage in the game of tunisia : "a destination close proximity to Europe as well as the bordering countries, Algeria and Libya ". He believes that " the european Union must include Tunisia and Morocco among the safer destinations ". Third asset : the health protocol which will be implemented by the whole industry for that, " as soon as the finish on the floor and up to his departure, the entire value chain complies with the hygiene instructions as well as the sanigestes ". They are little many to think that a recovery is possible by 2020. The objective of Moez Kacem : "to avoid bankruptcy, to help SMES, save jobs, in short, protect the entire value chain until the world resumes its normal life ".
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