Promoting sustainable tourism

Project description

Title: Promotion of sustainable tourism in Tunisia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: European Union (EU)
Country: Tunisia
Lead executing agency: Ministère du Tourisme et de l’Artisanat 
Overall term: 2019 to 2024


Following the political revolution in 2011, Tunisia continues to face social and economic challenges. The country’s economy lacks momentum and the official unemployment rate is 15 per cent. This primarily effects young people and women, particularly in Tunisia’s interior. 

The tourism industry is one of the most important sectors of the Tunisian economy, directly and indirectly providing thousands of jobs. As a result of political upheaval and the tense security situation, however, the sector has seen some challenging years, and tourism quality has suffered. 

The sector is now recovering: In 2018, tourism accounted for around 14 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) and employed around 13 per cent of Tunisia’s working population. In 2019, the country once again recorded more than nine million international arrivals. However, tourism is largely concentrated on the coast. Regions with weaker economies and, above all, the rural population do not benefit enough from Tunisia’s tourism potential.


The Tunisian Government is expanding and improving nature and cultural tourism, particularly in Tunisia’s interior.
Tourism is established as a key sector of the economy, strengthening the national economy and improving the employment situation in Tunisia.


The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is implementing the project in cooperation with the Tunisian Ministry of Tourism and Handicrafts. The project’s funding comes from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU) in the context of the Tounes Wijhetouna (Tunisia – Our Destination) programme.

GIZ is working with the Tunisian Ministry of Tourism, national associations, and other public and private sector actors in the sector to promote the Tunisian tourism industry in the long term. The focus is on environmentally and socially sound approaches that contribute to culture and nature preservation.

In selected regions, predominantly in the country’s interior, the project is creating alternative tourism options that focus on culture, nature and sport. Using theme-based routes, it is networking and promoting particular attractions with high tourism potential. 

The project is collaborating with Swiss foundation Swisscontact to develop destination management organisations (DMOs). These organisations make local tourism and regional marketing more competitive and provide consistent management of the various regions. 

In addition, the project allows international and national actors from different sectors such as agriculture or skilled trade businesses to exchange ideas. This allows innovative ideas to develop, encourages business deals and strengthens the Tunisian economy across all sectors. 

The joint project activities are strengthening the Tunisian tourism industry on global markets. This not only increases the number of travellers, but also encourages them to stay for longer and spend more, thus strengthening the country’s economy in the long term.

Additional information