Tunisia’s tourism revenues have soared in 2018 to $1.36 billion as the country saw the arrival of a record 8.3 million visitors, official figures released on Monday showed.
Tourism revenues rose in 2018 by about 45 percent compared to 2017, the central bank figures showed.
The number of tourists jumped to 8.3 million from 7 million in 2017, as hotels were filled with visitors from Algeria, Russia and other parts of Europe.
Also, Tunisia has become an increasingly popular destination for Chinese tourists. As of Oct. 20, a total number of 21,873 Chinese tourists have visited Tunisia in 2018, with a significant growth of 43.3 percent year on year, according to the data released by Tunisian government.
Terror attacks have decimated Tunisia’s crucial tourism sector in recent years.
Three years ago, in the coastal resort of Sousse, 38 people were killed in a shooting rampage targeting tourists, while earlier in 2015 an attack on the National Bardo Museum in Tunis left 22 people dead.
Tourism accounts for 8 percent of Tunisia’s gross domestic product. A return of Europeans visitors would give a strong boost to the struggling economy and raise the country’s weak foreign currency reserves, according to Reuters.
The North African nation expects tourist arrivals to reach 9 million for the first time in 2019.