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.

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

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TS Update-(Petty Crimes on the rise…)

Greetings Expat,

I hope everyone is enjoying the great weather and finding time to explore Tunisia.

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Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 7.18.44 PM

As a security professional I am always monitoring trends, especially when it comes to expat personal safety & security.  During the last 3 months we’ve seen a steady increase of petty crimes (Carthage, La Marsa, Berges du Lac) specifically in reference to purse snatching, vehicle vandalism, and burglary.



Of the three crimes on the rise, purse snatching is the one that most concerns me because of the bold nature in which the perpetrators are conducting them.  On one occasion a lady’s purse was snatched in broad daylight while walking through an upscale street in Berges du Lac.  Unharmed, the victim lost all her IDs, house keys, cell phone, and a small amount of cash. Another incident with similar results took place only a few meters from the US Embassy & American school on the La Marsa highway.

Purse Snatch Incident Pic



Tips to avoid motorcycle purse snatchers

  • Be alert & aware of surroundings.
  • Walk against traffic with handbags kept away from the street side.
  • Be on the lookout for motorcycles.
  • Avoid carrying important documents & items of high worth in purse.

US Embassy Security & Safety Update 

The US Embassy recently updated their safety and security section for Tunisia and it clearly states that “muggings have occurred during daylight hours in upscale neighborhoods; in some cases these encounters have turned violent when the victim tried to resist.”

Compare & Contrast (take a deep breath…)

Tunisia’s crime rate is far below most major cities and we have noted a significant improvement on the part of the security forces in terms of their professionalism & reaction.

Additionally, Tunisians are proud of their beautiful country and determined to make it shine during the tourist season.  As one optimistic Tunisian man puts it:

“Tunisia is ready to bring tourism back,” And we’ll even exceed what we used to achieve, seeing even more tourists than before the revolution.”