Tunisia's tourism plunged 40% amid January unrest

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 5, 2011 00:38




TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisia's new tourism minister on Friday said the North African country known for its wide beaches and ancient ruins now has a new lure for holidaymakers: they can hang out with Arab-world revolutionaries.

Mehdi Haouas said tourism revenues and visits in Tunisia plunged by 40 percent in January during the popular uprising that brought down the country's iron-fisted president.

"The revolution that this country just went through offers new opportunities insofar as it has shown off an extraordinary people to the world," said Haouas, who took his post in a government reshuffle last week.

The comments attempt to show that Tunisia is turning the page on its upheaval that forced President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to flee and has been a spark to popular unrest that has shaken autocratic regimes across the region — most notably in Egypt.


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