One of the world’s leading package holiday companies has announced a new program of charter flights from Germany to resorts on Djerba for next year’s summer season, without the apparent knowledge of the Tunisian Ministry of Tourism.
In a statement issued on their website yesterday, Tui announced that they would be chartering two Tunisair flights every Saturday, departing from Frankfurt and Düsseldorf for the entirety of the 2017 season. However, contacted by Tunisia Live, officials at the Ministry of Tourism professed no knowledge of the new program. After being directed to the Tui announcement, it was suggested Tunisia Live contact tourism officials on Djerba. On doing so, Tunisia Live was referred to the local airport for comment.
Irrespective of official ignorance of the new flights, news of Tui Germany’s decision will come as welcome relief to hoteliers upon the island. According to statistics provided by the German Travel Association, visitor numbers to Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt fell by 40 percent this year over those from 2015. Moreover, though booking numbers, mainly from domestic, Algerian and Russian firms rallied after last year’s devastating terror attacks at Bardo and Sousse, the overall expenditure per tourist is not expected to match those of the country’s traditional German and British visitors.
However, despite the announcement of the new German flights, the UK’s warning against all but essential travel to Tunisia remains firmly in place. In light of the British government’s travel advice, Thomas Cook announced in October that it would be cancelling all flights for the summer 2017 season. However, following yesterday’s announcement, it will now be possible for British tourists to fly to Djerba with Tui via either of the two German airports.
The company has also announced plans to expand its accommodation options in Tunisia, with the opening next spring of the adults-only Sensimar Oceana Palace and the Jaz Hotel Tour Khalef.
“Many hoteliers have used the difficult time to continue to invest in quality and service. That pays off. Tunisia is among Tui’s destinations with the highest level of customer satisfaction,” a representative of Tui told travelweekly.
This article was updated on 3rd November. It initially stated that Thomas Cook was a subsidiary of Tui
Prior to joining Tunisia Live, Simon worked as a freelance journalist. He has lived in Tunisia since 2013 and previously worked in Vietnam and Moscow.