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Tunisia’s tourism earnings drop 47% due to coronavirus

Tunisia’s revenues from the vital tourism industry dropped by 47 per cent in the first half of this year amid an outbreak of the new coronavirus, figures from the country’s central bank showed on Saturday.

Tourism earnings in the first half of the year stood at 382 million dollars, 47 per cent down compared to the same period of 2019, according to the figures.

The North African country’s tourism sector has felt the brunt of lockdown measures imposed more than three months ago in Tunisia to contain the spread of the virus.

Tunisia reopened its air, land and sea borders on June 27, hoping to revive the tourism industry.

No foreign tourists have since arrived in the country.

Last month, Tunisian Tourism Minister Mohamed Ali Toumi estimated his country’s tourism sector would incur 2.1 billion dollars in losses in 2020 due to the virus.

Toumi told dpa that his country was expecting revenues of 7 billion dinars (2.4 billion dollars) this year before the outbreak of the global pandemic, up from 5.6 billion dinars in 2019.

At the time, he said Tunisia was engaged in talks with European countries, including Germany and France, for the return of their tourists.

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