Income of Tunisia's key tourism rose by 6 percent during Jan. 1 to Dec. 20 in 2008 over the same period of the previous year, reaching 2.9 billion dinars (2.15 billion U.S. dollars), local daily Le Temps reported Tuesday.
The increase came from holidaymakers coming from Maghreb countries, including Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, and Morocco, the report said.
Libyan and Algerian tourists drove the total number of foreign visitors to 6.8 million during the period of Jan. 1 to Dec. 20 in 2008, up 4 percent over the same period of the previous year.
Tourists from neighboring Libya and Algeria numbered 1.6 million and 1.4 million respectively.
Tunisia, which tops African tourist destinations, fears the recession of its main market Europe would affect the tourism business, the country's main foreign currency source.
According to the World Economic Forum's Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report 2007, Tunisia ranked among the leading countries in terms of strategic and political priorities devoted to travel and tourism sectors.
Tourism has provided some 380,000 direct and indirect jobs for the northern African country, according to government figures.