Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Business
Capital Business
A police car sits parked in front of a Tunisian National tourism office/AFP

Finance

Tunisia looks to win back tourists with image makeover

 A police car sits parked in front of a Tunisian National tourism office/AFP

A police car sits parked in front of a Tunisian National tourism office/AFP

TUNIS, Mar 23 – Tunisia is working against the clock to salvage its 2014 tourist season after three turbulent years, by revamping the country’s image — with the help of online media and a few Star Wars characters.

“To change a country from one that is relatively inexpensive to a top-end tourist destination will take 10 or 15 years,” said Amel Karboul, Tunisia’s new tourism minister.

“But to change the image of a country from one that’s cheap to one that is ‘fun’ can be done much more quickly, and that’s a priority for us,” she said, referring to perceptions of Tunisia as a budget holiday destination.

The North African country hopes to welcome seven million tourists this year, a slight increase on the 6.9 million who visited in 2010 before the revolution that ousted a decades-old dictatorship and unleashed outbreaks of Islamist violence that damaged Tunisia’s reputation.

The number of tourists fell to just 4.7 million in 2011, and has only recovered slowly, affecting the estimated 400,000 people working in the key sector that accounts for around seven percent of Gross Domestic Product.

– Using The Force –

To reverse this trend, the ministry decided to exploit the desert settings used for many scenes in the Star Wars films, in a Tunisian version of the music video hit “Happy” by US star Pharrell Williams, replicated on YouTube by people around the world dancing to the tune.

“Happy (We are from Tatooine),” commissioned by the ministry, features a range of characters from Star Wars boogying in and around the city of Tataouine, including the iconic droids R2-D2 and C-3PO, a stormtrooper and Darth Vader himself.

The southern desert city gave its name to the fictional home planet of Anakin and Luke Skywalker — key figures in the cult film series.

The “Star Wars Tunisia” edition of the Pharrell Williams video has already received nearly 1.5 million hits (http://u.afp.com/fzc).

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“There are fans (of the sci-fi films) in the United States, in Scandinavia, in Asia, in South America, where Tunisia is barely known,” the minister told a group of journalists last week.

“It will raise awareness of Tunisia,” she said of her strategy to harness social media as a way of publicising the country.

Pages: 1 2

Click to comment
Advertisement

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...

Headlines

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...