Sunday, 30 October 2016

TUNISIA: Tunisia Is Not Only A Beach Holiday Destination

I have visited Tunisia as a familiarization trip organized by the Tunisia Tourism Ministry with the support of Tunis Air. Tunisia is not only a beach holiday destination. It also offers a range of activities and sights for tourists interested in adventure as well as religious tourism. For foodies, Tunisia is a must visit destination.

Tunisia is the most important olive-growing country of the southern Mediterranean region. The country counts 11 million inhabitants and is one-third smaller than California but it is the second-largest producer of olive oil in the world.

I also would like to mention about Tunisian wines that you should try. Geographical location of the country makes it a rare location close to the equator for quality wine production. Along the northern coast and the Gulf of Tunis the climate is significantly influenced by the Mediterranean with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers creating a successful viticulture environment. Vine husbandry and wine making were first introduced to Tunisia by the Phoenicians during the Punic era.

The country located at North Africa is home to the ancient city of Carthage with thousands of years of history, the magnificent Sahara desert and beautiful Mediterranean beaches.

Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Spaniards, Turks, and the French have each left an imprint on the nation’s storied terrain with well-preserved sites and intriguing age-old ruins at every turn. Seven sites have UNESCO World Heritage Site status with 46 new additions slated for UNESCO inscription.

The country suffers from the terrorist attack in March 2015 that killed 20 tourists at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, capital of the country. Throughout the trip, I saw special police around the towns and centers as well as tourist polices mostly in the bazaars. I think there is no risk of traveling in Tunisia however every traveler visiting a foreign city should be careful and cautious during their journey. At the end we know that no one can guarantee that there will be no terrorism at any place in the world.

The psychological impact of terrorism is sufficient to disrupt tourism in most countries but the large countries are able to absorb the damage to the economy which too much ado. However, the smaller countries and developing countries who are completely dependent on tourism can reach the point of collapse because of the effect of terrorism to the tourism industry, as was evident after the 9/11 attacks.

Therefore, we - as travelers should not stop traveling because of one attack.

On our first day, we have visited Sousse and Monastir.

Monastir is a city on the central coast of Tunisia, in the Sahel area, 20 km south of Sousse and 162 km south of Tunis. With 100 thousand inhabitants, Monastir is a tourist resort and traditionally known as a fishing port. You can fly to Monastir – Habib Bourguiba International Airport which has flights from most Western European countries. It is run by Turkey’s TAV - Tepe Akfen Ventures Airport Holding.

The city features a well preserved Ribat that was used to scan the sea for hostile ships as a defence against the attacks of the Byzantine fleet. Several ulema came to stay in the Ribat of this peaceful city for contemplation. The Ribat was also one of the filming locations for both the miniseries Jesus of Nazareth and Monty Python's Life Of Brian.