Chinese tourist market strategic for Tunisia: official

(Xinhua) 13:34, November 30, 2023

TUNIS, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese tourist market is a strategic market for Tunisia, said Tunisian Minister of Tourism Mohamed Moez Belhassine Wednesday at the closing ceremony of the African Regional Conference Tunisia 2023.

Organized by the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), the four-day conference on the theme of "New Era of China-Africa Tourism Cooperation" took place on Nov. 27 in Tunisia's eastern coastal city of Hammamet.

"Tunisian-Chinese relations are historically exemplary and will need to be further strengthened in the future," the Tunisian minister told Xinhua.

Speaking of China, the world's largest source of tourists, Belhassine said that in order to attract more Chinese tourists, a great effort will have to be mobilized to further adapt the country's tourism to the new era where tourism becomes an entire industry: reservations, ticketing, flights, guided tours, and catering.

On the occasion, the minister announced that the Tunisian national carrier Tunisair plans to open a direct airline between Tunisia and China in 2024.

"The direct airline will double the number of Chinese tourists from 30,000 to more than 60,000," Belhassine added.

"This conference is an opportunity to strengthen Tunisian-Chinese relations, promote the Tunisian destination, and strengthen links between tourism professionals in the two countries," Belhassine said.

Of the top 30 overseas traveling destinations searched on the internet in China, countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative account for over 70 percent, the Executive Deputy Secretary-General of WTCF, Li Baochun, said in a speech at the conference.

"The cooperation between China-Africa tourism enterprises has built a bridge to spread civilization, exchange cultures and strengthen friendship, enabling Chinese and African people to better understand each other," Li said.

Founded in 2012, the WTCF, formed by renowned tourist cities and tourism-related institutions worldwide on Beijing's initiative, is the world's first international tourism organization focusing on cities, with a total of 244 members from 85 countries and regions.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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