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Terror takes toll on Tunisia hotels

Profile Photo By: Steve Shellum
October 19, 2015

Terror takes toll on Tunisia hotels

Tunisia cultureAt least 70 hotels have closed in Tunisia since September after two deadly jihadist attacks on foreign tourists, and more are expected to follow suit, Agence France-Presse reported.
?The situation is very sluggish,? Radhouane Ben Salah, the head the Tunisian Federation of Hotels, told Mosaique FM radio.
With reservations at ?no more than 20 percent, 70 hotels had to close since September because the lack of clients and more are expected to do the same,? he added.
Ben Salah said he expected unemployment to climb as hotel staff would be forced out of work.
Joblessness already stands at nearly 30 percent, with the number even higher among youths, and one in six Tunisians live below the poverty line.
The country?s key tourism sector contributes to 10 percent of gross domestic product, and employs 400,000 people, directly or indirectly.
But it has been badly shaken by attacks on foreign tourists at the National Bardo Museum in the capital in March and a beachside massacre near the coastal city of Sousse in June.
The attacks, claimed by the jihadist Islamic State group, cost the lives of 60 people.
The number of visitors from Europe has halved since January and international hotel chains have announced plans to close over the winter season.

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