Japan-Tunisia sign new tourism agreement

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A man on horseback performs during the opening of the Sahara International Festival in Douz, southwestern Tunisia, on Thursday, Dec. 25, 2008. The 41st International Sahara Festival, held 600 kilometers (373 miles) south of Tunis in the city of Douz draws locals and tourists alike for a cultural event that celebrates the region’s heritage and desert people. Photo – Hassene Dridi/AP

Tunisia and Japan announced they are entering a deal to promote tourism in southern Tunisia, according to an agreement signed by the Ministry of Tourism and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Thursday.

According to ministry sources, a package will be formulated to promote tourism in the Tunisian Saharan regions of Tozeur and Kebili, and Japanese tourists will be offered attractive deals and offers.

The three-year campaign, which will be started very soon, is an initiative taken by JICA and is being funded with an investment to the tune of 5.4 million dinars (approx. $3.44 million). The project hopes to attract attention to the southern regions of Tunisia and promote tourism products and natural resources in these regions.

The venture requires a cooperation mechanism to be mobilised based on public and private partnership. A joint coordinating committee, which included the officials the tourism structures and JICA was formulated for this reason. The committee plans to meet on a periodic basis in Tunis.

Minister of Tourism Elyes Fakhfakh and permanent Director General of JICA in Tunis signed the agreement. The Director General of JICA said this project will be presented at the next International Conference on African Development, which will be held in 2013 in Tokyo as a model of North-South cooperation.

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