The German liner MS Europa, with on board about 310 passengers, was docked to 07: 30 in a festive atmosphere, but under high security at the entrance to the port of la Goulette ( AFP / FETHI BELAID )
The German liner Europa, with on board about 310 passengers, was docked to 07: 30 in a festive atmosphere, but under high security at the entrance to the port. An event for traders in the tourist village of La Goulette suburb of Tunis, after crossing the desert for 18 months.
“It is very important for me to reopen my shop, and it is heart-warming to see again the village alive!”, exclaims Haifa Dargouth, 39 years.
If it does not pretend to fill up its coffers empty by this single day, this artisan describes a step “very symbolic and carries a lot of hopes.”
– ‘gradual Return’ ? -
A tourist holding his passport at the checkpoint of the police in its descent from the cruise ship at the port of La Goulette, on 6 October 2016 ( AFP / FETHI BELAID )
to this day, no other cruise line has followed suit. But this “arrival” is very important because it sends a positive message and a reassuring,” said the AFP Malek Ghanemi, director of the cruise terminal of La Goulette. And Mustapha Jabeur, the CEO, assures us: “starting in January, there will be a gradual return of the traffic”.
there are more than a year and a half, 18 march 2015, 21 foreign tourists –most of them cruise ship passengers– and a policeman a tunisian were killed in the attack of the Bardo museum, which is claimed by the extremist group islamic State (EI).
The head of the national security of tunisia Belhaj Ali, in front of the cruise ship MS Europa after his arrival at La Goulette on October 6, 2016 ( AFP / FETHI BELAID )
The international companies had, in the wake suspended all their stops in Tunisia, marking the beginning of the nightmare for the local tourism industry, struck three months later by a second attack of the AES in Port el-Kantaoui (38 tourists killed).
With a lull in the fighting safe to the last six months, a tremor is felt, but countries like Britain continue to advise against the tunisian destination.
More broadly, Tunisia, single country survivor of the arab Spring, has not managed to restart its economy, partly as a result of this crisis, and tourism, formerly contributor to the GDP at the level of 7%.
Evidence of the importance attached to this return a first liner, a ceremony was held in the afternoon in the presence of the minister of Tourism, Selma Rekik Elloumi.
– ‘I’m musty in the unemployment’ -
upon their arrival, the passengers of the Europa, cameras in hand, were welcomed by performances of dance and music of the east, or even of the soldiers, the carthaginians playing the trumpet and the drum.
bouquets of jasmine were offered by the tourist shops of la Goulette. Nearly 200 of them are then left on a tour, under a warm autumn sun, in the nearby village of Sidi Bou Said or the medina of Tunis, a world heritage site by Unesco.
No visit to the famous museum of Bardo, in contrast to ls tousites of the MS Europa ( AFP / FETHI BELAID )
No visit to the famous museum of Bardo, on the other hand, for this time.
Host at the port of la Goulette for 12 years, and Salah Issa, not sulks not its pleasure. “The village (tourist) I missed a lot! This atmosphere, to me, raises the morale,” he says. Since the attack of the Bardo, “I musty unemployment. My camels have been hungry.”
In traditional dress, this forty-something woman wishes to welcome the tourists, before letting them ride for free on three of his camels adorned with fabrics and colour.
While the scent of incense invading the scene, Maher Lassoued, 49 years old, shows his relief. “It was sad to see the doors of our closed stores, is to reflect the image of an activity dead. See relive address a positive message to the tourism in general”, he says.
back in Tunisia in the wake of the 2011 revolution, Maher was hired five shops in this village, the projects full the head. But “the attack of Bardo, I was completely destroyed. (…) For the first time in my life, I stayed over a year of unemployment, unable to pay my loans”, he said.
Despite his regrets, he still wants to believe it. “This stopover in Tunisia is a beacon of hope. (…) It makes me breathe with full lungs!”.
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