Tunisia’s tourism revenues up 19 percent this year as more Europeans return

Tourists poses for picture in downtown Tunis

Tourists poses for picture in downtown Tunis, Tunisia, August 4, 2017. Photo: Zoubeir Souissi

Tunisia’s tourism revenues have risen 19 percent so far this year, reflecting a recovery in a vital sector crippled two years ago by attacks on foreign holidaymakers.

Tourism Minister Salma Loumi said 4.58 million foreign tourists visited the North African country between Jan. 1 and Aug. 10. Arrivals from neighbouring Algeria were up 60 percent, helped by a promotional campaign by Tunisia, while visits by European tourists rose 16 percent.

“There are good indicators, revenues rose by 19 percent to 1.5 billion Tunisian dinars ($613 million)”, Loumi told reporters on Tuesday.

Tunisian officials expect the number of foreign tourists to rise to 6.5 million this year, up about 30 percent from 2016, due to an improving security situation and interest from new markets including Russia.

That would mark a return to normal, although below a record 6.9 million visitors seen in 2010.

Tourism accounts for about 8 percent of Tunisia’s gross domestic product, provides thousands of jobs and is a key source of foreign currency, but it has struggled since two major attacks in 2015.

The first at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis left 21 tourists dead, while 39 mostly British holidaymakers were killed in the second attack on a beach in the resort city of Sousse.

Last month, however, Britain’s foreign office said it was no longer advising against travel to most of the North African country including the capital Tunis and major tourist destinations.

Tour operator Thomas Cook has said it will resume offering holidays in Tunisia following the change.

Tunisia’s tourism ministry said it expected the company to start offering flights to Tunisia from February 2018.

The government expects rising tourism to help Tunisia’s economy grow 2.5 percent this year, after a 1 percent expansion last year.

 

Originally published by Reuters.

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Moroccan Vault Protects Seeds From Climate Change & War

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Should a doomsday agricultural crisis hit the world’s driest environments, scientists and farmers will turn to an up-and-coming research center and seed bank in Morocco to restock their harvests.

Tucked away in the university hub of Irfane in Rabat, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, or ICARDA, hosts the largest collection of seeds in North Africa.

“If for any reason, a particular community lost all their resources, we are capable of providing them with the seeds for restoration and rehabilitation,” says Ahmed Amri, head of ICARDA’s Genetic Resources Unit.

The crucial role of seed banks in protecting biodiversity is receiving increasing attention because of climate change, which threatens to wipe out crops as dry areas of the world get even hotter and drier. The impact on African agriculture is among the topics being discussed at U.N. climate talks taking place through next week in Morocco.

The site in Rabat has become ICARDA’s primary center of storage and research after its previous hub in Aleppo, Syria, was seized by an Islamist rebel group in September 2015.

“We couldn’t continue doing this work because of the situation in Syria, so we decided to make arrangements to move elsewhere to continue our work,” says Amri, who used to work in Aleppo, but is now leading genetic research efforts in Rabat.

While many of the research activities moved to Rabat, 98 percent of the Aleppo center’s seeds were safely transferred to ICARDA’s center in neighboring Lebanon. Duplicates were also sent to a “doomsday” seed vault in Svalbard in the Norwegian Arctic, which serves as a backup for other seed banks worldwide.

Rebels from the ultraconservative Ahrar al-Sham group have occupied the Aleppo center since September 2015, cutting off access to its 75 employees. Amri has daily contact with the five staff members who remain in Aleppo, including associate scientist Ali Shehadeh.

“With the cease-fire, it’s stable and unstable at times,” Shehadeh told The Associated Press from Aleppo in a Skype interview facilitated by Amri.

The Rabat center holds tens of thousands of seeds spanning from wheat and barley to lentils and chickpeas inside a vault in near-freezing temperatures. The seed bank not only preserves these essential staples but develops them to become more resistant to disease and a warming climate.

Last year, Morocco faced an unprecedented drought that scientists and the government have linked to climate change, with drier and warmer winters in Morocco and neighbouring countries.

Domestic grain production dropped, forcing the government to drop tariffs on imports to avoid shortages and stem rising prices. Last month, the government decided to temporarily remove import duties for lentils to lower the price just in time for the winter season — a time when lentils are widely consumed in Morocco.

Scientists at the Rabat center work closely with farmers in Marchouch, a nearby rural town. The scientists provide seed samples to farmers who allocate about 2 percent of their own farm land to test the seeds and provide feedback to scientists.

“We are looking for science-based solutions for farmers’ problems,” says Shiv Kumar Agrawal, a lentil breeder with ICARDA. These problems include contending with droughts, invasive insects and increasing production.

Farmers report back to scientists on the results of the harvest yielded from the seed samples, after which further tests are conducted to improve the seeds’ durability and production yield.

Farmer Abdellah Slimani, 48, president of a farmers’ cooperative in Marchouch, believes the feedback loop has helped him and fellow farmers to improve their own methods as climate change continues to impact harvests.

“We hope that this year’s harvest will be better, God willing,” Slimani says.

Bruce Campbell of the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers says the climate conference in Marrakech offers a unique opportunity to address the impact of climate change on African agriculture.

“Considering all African countries have included agriculture in their climate adaption strategies, (the conference) will be the ideal setting to discuss how the most promising solutions can be deployed and indeed, funded,” he says.

Originally published by the Associated Press.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all investment matters ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

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Strategic Business & Intelligence Division,
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Importance Of Receiving Collective Advice

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all matters relating to your business startup, ensures advise based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessing of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and unknowledgeable business advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advise and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Further Queries Feel Free to Contact :

For Queries Specific to Middle East & North Africa :
Email : mena@cwiilgroup.com , hq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.com , www.cwiilgroup.eu

For any / all other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu

Office Hours :
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Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.