COVID-19 IMPACT: Major Damage to Tunisian Economy

Tunisia Security Update

Your #1 Source for Travel & Security News IMPACTING Tunisia.


Article Analysis:

Coronavirus may cause 400,000 travel-related job losses in Tunisia”-Published date: 15 April 2020 

Tunisia forecasts $1.4bn-loss in revenue in tourism sector over Coronavirus pandemic

3-Quick Key INSIGHTS:

  • Estimates project Tunisian economy will lose $1.4bn tourism revenue.

  • Tunisia has recorded a total of 747 cases of the virus and 34.

  • To mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic, Tunisia is seeking to secure a loan up to $877m (Source:  North African Post)

  • Visit Tunisia Security Update Facebook Page for more UPDATES.


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What’s going ON?

The coronavirus pandemic has devastated Tunisia’s tourism industry, with the vital sector expected to see 400,000 people lose their jobs this year and $1.4bn in lost revenue.

Like many countries across the globe, Tunisia has been under lockdown for weeks, with most residents only leaving their homes for exercise, grocery shopping and pharmacy runs.

 

Economic Challenges Ahead…

But as the second-biggest contributor to the country’s economy after agriculture, the tourism industry has almost completely shut down. Restaurants have closed, as have hotels and land borders, and international flights have been banned.

Tourist arrivals fell from over 7 million in 2010 to 5 million by 2015. But the number of visitors rose to 8.3 million in 2018, a 17 percent increase from 2017

Tourist arrivals fell from over 7 million in 2010 to 5 million by 2015. But the number of visitors rose to 8.3 million in 2018, a 17 percent increase from 2017

Now, under the pandemic, that number is expected to plummet.

Tunisia has recorded a total of 747 cases of the virus and 34 coronavirus-related deaths. So far, 43 people have recovered from the infection.

Tunisia’s number of cases falls well below neighbouring Algeria, which has reported 2,160 cases and 336 deaths, highlighting the need to ban tourism in order to slow the spread, as tourists from Algeria, Russia and the EU make up a large portion of the country’s yearly visitors.

Security Bottom Line

In a report released on Wednesday, the IMF said in general, economies across the Middle East and North Africa are expected to shrink by 3.3 percent during 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic could not have come at a worse time for Tunisia.  Having just completed a complicated election cycle, the country was looking forward to a much needed successful tourism season.

At the time of this writing both the U.S. and UK embassies advises against all but essential international travel.


Security Support

If you’re operating in Tunisia find out how you can have access to reliable security information & support.

 

TS Update-(New Site Subscribe Today)

Greetings Expats,

Since my return to Tunis on Friday I’ve been amazed at the amount of information coming our way here at the Tunisia Security Update blog.  On that note I would like to say thank you to all the expats and Tunisians that support us with insightful information.  

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Blog Update  

We’ve updated the blog and moved it to a self hosted site.  It’s the same domain (www.tunisiasecurityupdate.com) but we weren’t able to transfer all of our subscribers (over 2k!).    

If you would like to receive these updates directly into your email inbox please visit the new website and click on the subscribe button.  Simply enter your email and presto you will receive free security updates which you can view on any electronic device.  

Click here to visit new site

Challenges & Opportunities 

Since 2011 the purpose of the this blog was to empower expats with practical & relevant security information.  The security situation in Tunisia remains challenging but with the right setup and network we will continue to thrive in this beautiful country.

Please check out the blog homepage, subscribe and let me know what you think.

TS Update-(Summer Challenges & Beyond)

Greetings Expats,

As we stated in our previous postings, the threat level in Tunisia has increased and the month of Ramadan is proving to be very challenging for Tunisians.  This is a great time for us to review what happened and look beyond.

What’s going on? 

At least 14 Tunisian soldiers were killed when gunmen with rocket-propelled grenade attacked two checkpoints in the Chaambi mountain range.

Tunisian government stated that the attackers are tied to Al-Qaeda’s North Africa wing, known as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Minster of Interior Mr. Ben Jeddou stated that since the start of Ramadan they’ve foiled six terrorist operations in  Tunisia.

Short Term=Tourism hit

Mount Chaambi is a war zone so it is very likely that similar incidents will take place.  On a broader level, the last couple of days have been a public relations nightmare for Tunisian tourism.  The Brits took the lead by warning its citizens of a “high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping.”

Specifically, the FCO advises against:  “all but essential travel to areas south of, and including, the towns of Nefta, Douz, Medenine and Zarzisj, and to within 30km of the border with Algeria from south of the town of Ghardinaou.”

To put it bluntly, this really sucks for Tunisia especially since the number of British visitors to Tunisia reached a new record last year with more than 400,000 visitors.

Long Term=Great Security Challenge 

Here are my top 3 reasons why I think we (Tunisians & Expat Community) have great security challenges ahead:

  1. Parliamentary elections (currently) scheduled to take place on October 26th & Presidential elections on November 23rd
  2. Current situation in Libya
  3. Social-Economic challenges in Tunisia

And as if these weren’t challenging enough we also have to look at even more alarming developments such as “reports indicating the return of Libyan jihadists and others from Tunisia to their countries to create branches of ISIS in North Africa.”

Expat Deep Breath 

Since 2011 we’ve seen how resilient, peaceful, and kind Tunisians are.  We certainly hope for the best for Tunisia but as expats we have to focus on ensuring that our personal security matches or exceeds the threat level.

With the right setup, mindset, and network we can continue to live & thrive in beautiful Tunisia.  This is true for both tourists & expats.

Let’s stay connected…

 

Tunisia Crime & Safety 2014

Greetings Expats, 

The Overseas Security Advisory Council (O.S.A.C.) was “created in 1985 under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to promote security cooperation between American private sector interests worldwide and the U.S. Department of State.”

Each year OSAC publishes a Crime & Safety Report covering a variety of security & safety topics.  I find the report very helpful especially for newly arrived expats.   

Below is a brief presentation highlighting the key aspects of the report.  I hope you find the information helpful and let’s continue to share practical security information.

TS Update-(31st crafts exhibition in Le Kram)

Greetings Expats,

The 31st crafts exhibition will be held in Le Kram from 25 April to 4 May this year. At the event it is reported that 580 exhibitors will show their best stuff from a vast range of crafts, interior decorating, clothing, and much more.  Over 130,000 visitors are expected to attend and the National Handicrafts Office (ONA) has high hopes for the event.  

Situational Awareness

images

Each year many expats attend this event and usually walk away with great gifts and a pleasurable experience.  On the flip side, these events are a good time to review practical personal security tips.    

3-Effective Tips to Stay Aware

1.  Setup:  Avoid parking near isolated areas and familiarize yourself with your surroundings.

2.  Focus:  It’s OK to explore but have a sense of purpose.

3.  Empower:  Remember most crimes in Tunisia are “Crimes of Opportunity“…don’t present the opportunity.  Walking while talking on your cell phone=opportunity, Leaving your hand bag unattended=opportunity, taking out large amounts of cash to pay for something=opportunity.

Feedback

Please feel free to share you’re experience if you attend this event.  Perhaps other expats will benefit from your feedback & tips.  

Share your feedback in the comment section below.  

 

 

 

 

 

TS Update-(31st crafts exhibition in Le Kram)

Greetings Expats,

The 31st crafts exhibition will be held in Le Kram from 25 April to 4 May this year. At the event it is reported that 580 exhibitors will show their best stuff from a vast range of crafts, interior decorating, clothing, and much more.  Over 130,000 visitors are expected to attend and the National Handicrafts Office (ONA) has high hopes for the event.  

Situational Awareness

images

Each year many expats attend this event and usually walk away with great gifts and a pleasurable experience.  On the flip side, these events are a good time to review practical personal security tips.    

3-Effective Tips to Stay Aware

1.  Setup:  Avoid parking near isolated areas and familiarize yourself with your surroundings.

2.  Focus:  It’s OK to explore but have a sense of purpose.

3.  Empower:  Remember most crimes in Tunisia are “Crimes of Opportunity“…don’t present the opportunity.  Walking while talking on your cell phone=opportunity, Leaving your hand bag unattended=opportunity, taking out large amounts of cash to pay for something=opportunity.

Feedback

Please feel free to share you’re experience if you attend this event.  Perhaps other expats will benefit from your feedback & tips.  

Share your feedback in the comment section below.  

 

 

 

 

 

TS Update-(Ramadan Awareness)

Expats living in Muslim countries “know the deal”…We know that during the month of Ramadan things change. We know that whether we like it or not we have to adjust our daily activities.  Ramadan offers us a great opportunity to both feel the experience of living abroad and evaluate our daily flow.

From a security perspective, the moth of Ramadan is an ideal time to take a step back and evaluate your routines, driving routes, walks, runs, neighborhood, etc.

Ramadan Awareness

There is a confirmed report that two shops located in the main Carrefour food court area were closed yesterday by the police.  According to one report the officers closed the shops for the “protection of the store attendants”.  It is no secret that a small number of conservative Muslims have been going around town trying to persuade cafe owners to close their stores during the day.

Nevertheless, there are many cafes and restaurants open during the fasting hours.  A contact on twitter reported that in the “Lac 2 there are a lot of restaurants doing very good lunch business.”  Additionally, it is good to know that we live in a mostly tolerant and friendly Muslim country and most people understand that not everyone is fasting.  Conversely we should respect local customs and “when in Rome…”

 

Ramadan Resources

Empower yourself with solid information and enjoy Ramadan…

Tunisia Live Ramadan Survival Guide

Gulf News Ramadan Guide for Expatriates

Tunisia.com Ramadan Forum

 

 

TS Update-(After the Art Show)

Looking forward to taking this blog to another level by providing Expats with a brief & practical audio update.

Click on the link below to listen to the Tunisia Security Update Podcast or watch the video version on Youtube.. either way feel free to share some feedback and let’s keep the good information flowing.

Tunisia Security Update Audio Podcast-June 2012.

 

Tunisia Security Update Video Podcast

TS Update-(Good Training)

Good job on all the Expats out there who pulled together and made the necessary adjustments to continue their normal colorful lives while at the same time acknowledging the serious security situation we have before us.  Although the  grand Friday did not materialized, at least we were able to benefit from the experience of going through these last few days.

Successful 1st Half

It appears that the first half of this much anticipated Friday will come to a successful end, but we will continue to monitor how the night will unfold, and what if any impact the curfew will have.  Last night there was a wedding in my neighborhood well after the curfew and the feeling in the air was festive.

One thing is for sure, if the day ends with no incidents we can honestly say that the situation has taken a turn towards the better.

We’ll keep cheering for Tunisia and empowering Expats with practical security information. 
 

 

TS Update-(June 15 Progress)

Lots of positive developments have taken place that may lead to a better than expected Friday.  The key decision on the part of the Tunisian government to expressively ban marches that were scheduled to take place today is a big positive step forward in terms of minimizing any risk of possible violence throughout the country.  

Showdown? 

Still the question remains: Will the “salafists” back down…or will they challenge the State?  The picture on the right is a great snap shot of why this is such a complicated question.  Security coordinators have quickly learned that the term salafists is simply an “umbrella term” for a coalition of troublemakers.  

Wait & See Approach

The best approach for Expats is to simply wait and see.  After today things can definitely head in the right direction…or as we all know…it can easily go downhill.  Either way we need to keep our eyes open (situational awareness) and our information flowing (community connection). 

Stay safe…and feel free to send us feedback…let us know what’s going on around your area.