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    At the time of assessments, in Tunisia as in Morocco, the mood is gloomy: the 2021 season has only given a little oxygen to a sector ravaged by the Covid-19.

    “2021 is better than 2020 (…) But it’s still half as good as 2019, because of the constraints” related to Covid-19, explains Haykel Akrout, director of the luxurious Bel Azur for more than 20 years to AFP. After an epidemic outbreak in July, its 1,000-bed hotel had to halve its capacity and Tunisia found itself in the red zone for all of Europe, where its usual tourists come from, especially French, Germans and Italians.

    The 2021 season has known “a very slight improvement. But, compared to 2020 – a catastrophic year with a regression of 80% – we are very far from normal activity with an increase of 11% this year”, confirms the ‘AFP Dora Milad, President of the Hotel Federation FTH.

    In good years like 2019, with 9 million overnight stays, tourism represented up to 14% of the GDP, supporting 2 million Tunisians. Also dependent on the sector, Morocco experienced a relative improvement after the reopening of the borders in mid-June. The country recorded more than 3.5 million admissions at the end of August against 2.2 million a year earlier, but four times less than in 2019 (13 million).

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