As holidaymakers flock to Tunisia once more following a series of attacks, the country’s tourism minister has his sights set on diversifying the industry and taking visitors beyond the beach.
“Practically all the big tour operators here have returned,” said Rene Trabelsi, six months into his ministerial post.
He credits “huge efforts” for making the country safe for visitors again, after attacks in 2015 targeting tourists.
Gunmen killed 21 foreign visitors and a Tunisian security guard at the capital’s Bardo National Museum, followed by a shooting rampage at a Sousse beach resort which left 38 people dead — mostly British tourists.
Britain, France and other countries have recently eased their travel warnings, deeming most of Tunisia now safe.
Two million holidaymakers have visited Tunisia so far this year, according to government figures touted by the tourism minister.
That marks a 24 percent jump on the same period last year, and a 7 percent increase compared to the 2010 industry reference point.
But despite tourists returning, revenue has so far failed to reach that of nearly a decade ago.
The indebted industry is heavily reliant upon cheap “all-inclusive” holidays and the government is trying to diversify the tourism sector, which accounts for around 7 percent of GDP.
“During the high season, Tunisia will be packed, but we’re interested in the low season, from September to March,” said Trabelsi, sitting behind his large desk in the capital Tunis.
The minister wants to attract tourists over the winter months who are also interested in activities away from the beach.
“We’re negotiating with the tour operators” to offer charter flights after the summer, said Trabelsi who hopes visitors will sign up for golf, spa treatments and cultural activities.
“This year already, a lot of hotels which closed during winter after the crisis, want to stay open,” he said.
An electronic music festival in southern Tunisia is due to take place in September, while a jazz festival is planned in Tabarka near the Algerian border.
No ‘right to fail’
Whereas half the holidaymakers in 2010 were European, they now make up less than a third of visitors amid an increasing number of tourists from other North African countries and further afield
The government aims to welcome nine million visitors this year, but Trabelsi said Tunisians still need to tackle “environmental terrorism” to avoid scaring tourists away.
“I’m using that word to shock and alert,” said the minister, warning that poor environmental standards can put tourists off “like when there’s an attack”.
Following Tunisia’s 2011 revolution, authorities failed to keep atop of waste management. Municipal councils were elected for the first time a year ago but the clean-up is far from complete.
“We also have a cultural problem,” said Trabelsi. “If each person swept outside their front door, that would already be huge.”
Trabelsi has for years been co-organiser of an annual Jewish pilgrimage to Djerba, where his father is president of the island’s synagogue, and in the 1990s he set up his own travel agency.
But months into his first political post, he said he has no intention of staying in government long-term.
“I want to make a mark, and Tunisians expect a lot from me. I come from the private sector, I have a different religion, so I don’t have the right to fail,” Trabelsi said.
“But once my mission is accomplished, I’ll return to my own affairs.”
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Nigeria’s Chimamanda Adichie receives UN Global Leadership Award
Adichie is the youngest African and only Nigerian to have received the award
Multiple-award-winning Nigerian Writer and Feminist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been awarded with the prestigious UN Global Leadership Award by the United Nations, making her the youngest African and only Nigerian to have received the award.
Adichie was recognized for her work in Literature – most notably, her talent for using storytelling to connect with people across generations and cultures on issues related to gender, identity, racial inequality as well as for being a leader on the frontlines of global progress.
This landmark achievement comes just after Adichie’s famous novel, “Half of a Yellow Sun” was named in BBC’s 100 Novels that shaped our world.
The 2019 edition of the annual award, tagged; “We the people to honour the founding ideals and vision articulated in the UN Charter” held on the eve of the United Nations 75th anniversary.
Adichie joins the league of notable figures that have received the award in the past, which include former Presidents of America, President Bill Clinton, and Barrack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.
Elated Adichie took to her Instagram account to announce the award.
Also honoured at the ceremony were Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, Gunhild Stordalen, Chair of the Stordalen Foundation and Founder of EAT, UN staff members who have worked on the frontlines of crisis response, amongst others.
Complete list of the Future Awards Africa winners
Held at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria, the award ceremony was hosted by Falz and actress Toni Tones
The 2019 Future Awards Africa took place at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria on Sunday, November 24, 2019.
The award recognizes the achievement of young Nigerian talents, innovators, entrepreneurs, and community advocates doing great in their various fields.
As usual, the annual award did not fall short of expectations. This year’s edition was themed “Nigeria’s New Tribe”. It was hosted by hip hop artist and rapper, Falz and actress Toni Tones.
Here is the complete list of the winners:
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR ACTING
Timini Egbuson (32) – Winner
Bimbo Ademoye (28)
Bandele ‘Baaj’ Adebule (30)
Sharon Ooja (28)
Fatima Washa Abdullahi (26)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR MUSIC
Teniola Apata (26)
Damini Ebunoluwa ‘Burna Boy’ Ogulu (28) – Winner
Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana
John ‘Johny Drill’ Ighodalo (29)
Sadiq ‘Wurld’ Onifade (32)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR AGRICULTURE
Emmanuel Maduka (24)
Chiamaka Ndukwu Theresa and Kenneth Okonkwo (25/25)
Uka Eje (29) – Winner
Divine-Love Akam (24)
Rotimi Olawale (29)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR ADVOCACY
Hamzat Lawal (32) – Winner
Bright Jaja (29)
Uchechi ‘Ucy’ Rochas (27)
Ifedayo Durosinmi-Etti (30)
Funke Adeoye (27)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR ARTS (VISUAL & APPLIED)
Arinze Stanley (26)
Ken Nwadiogbu (25) – Winner
Dipo Doherty (28)
Olarinde Olayemi Ayanfeoluwa (22)
Olabanke Subair (28)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR COMMUNITY ACTION
Abdulazeez Kaltumi (27)
Yetunde Fadeyi (27)
Kelechukwu Nwachukwu Lucky (25)
Tony Joy (27)
Akpobi Elvis (31)
Isaac Success Omoyele (28) – Winner
Stephen Teru (29)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR FILM-MAKING
Kayode Kasum (28)
Dare Olaitan (28) – Winner
Chinney Love Eze (31)
Rahama Sadau (26)
Uche Odoh (30)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR LITERATURE
Akwaeke Emezi (32)
Ijeoma Umebinyuo (30)
Lanaire Aderemi (20)
Oyinkan Braithwaite (31)
Otosirieze Obi-Young (25) – Winner
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR MEDIA
Peace Itimi (24)
Paul Alasiri (27)
Edirin Edewor (28)
Samuel Ajiboye (28) – Winner
Tosin Olaseinde (31)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICE
Bukky Akomolafe (31) – Winner
Adesola Ade-Unuigbe (28)
Yinka Iyinolakan (30)
Onoriode Reginald Aziza (27)
Peter Tega Oghenejobo (32)
PRIZE FOR OAP (VISUAL & AUDIO)
Osato ‘EDK’ Edokpayi (27)
Huisaina ‘Dashen’ Usman (31)
Mayowa Ogundele – Adegoke (30)
Simi ‘Drey’Adejumo (21) – Winner
Sandra Ezekwesili (30)
PRIZE FOR PUBLIC SERVICE
Adetola Onayemi (28) – Winner
Ibijoke Faborede (31)
Moses Onalapo (29)
Dr Achama Eluwa (31)
Fehintola Ajogbasile and Judith Oguzie (27/32)
PRIZE FOR SPORTS
Al-farouq Aminu (29)
Georgia Oboh (18)
Eseoghene Oguma (21)
Samuel Chukwueze (23)
Israel Adesanya (30) – Winner
PRIZE FOR EDUCATION
Olaseni Cole (32) – Winner
Omozino Eguh (28)
Eyitayo Ogunmola (31)
Seyi Oluyole (27)
Farida Kabir (27)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR TECHNOLOGY
Chinedu Azodoh/ Adetayo Bamiro (29/32)
Zang Luka Bot (28) – Winner
Muhammad Salisu Abdullahi (28)
Timothy Adeleye (25)
Funfere Koroye (29)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR FASHION
Andrea Iyamah (26)
Derin Fabikun (29)
Tuboboreni Sandrah (28) – Winner
Osemwengie Victor Odion (31)
Kenneth Izedonmwen (29)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR BUSINESS
Adekunle Hassan (31)
Obi Ozor (30)
Chika Madubuko (30)
Olawale Ayilara (31) – Winner
Tiwalola Olanubi (31)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR JOURNALISM
Aisha Salaudeen (25)
Joey Akan (28)
Ayodeji Rotinwa (29)
Shola Lawal (25) – Winner
Kiki Mordi (28)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
Adah Clarence (30)
Yemi Ajala (31)
Praise Nnemeka (21)
Stephen Tayo (25)
Tolani Alli (27) – Winner
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR YOUNG PERSON OF THE YEAR
Debo Ogundoyin (32)
Kenneth Udekwe (32)
Damini ‘Burna Boy’ Ogulu (28) – Winner
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