Last February 16, the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially declared the exemption of Chinese nationals in entry visas to Tunisia. However, conditions were also set in exchange of the said exemption.
In a report by Manila Bulletin, General Director of Consular Affairs of the Tunisian Ministry, Chafik Hajji, was quoted as saying: "From today, the tourists of Chinese nationality will not need a visa to enter Tunisian territory, in the conditions of having a round-trip flight ticket and a valid hotel reservation voucher within 90 days."
During the previous years, Tunisia has struggled to revive the country's tourism after the occurrence of several terrorism attacks which killed over 70 civilians which had also included tourists from other countries. The country has exerted efforts to relive the tourism industry of the country. In fact, in 2016, 5.7 million foreign tourists visited Tunisia compared to the 5.3 million that was recorded in 2015.
China International Travel Service (CITS) in Shanghai office manager Fang Yi expressed that what makes Tunisia more appealing to foreign tourists are the World Cultural Heritage Sites in the country where unique and amazing cultural and traditional activities can be found.
"Thanks to its mild and humid Mediterranean climate, Tunisia could become a tourist destination in winter when it is cold in Europe, the traditional destination for Chinese,"Fang explained."
Among the first Chinese citizens to experience this exemption was Wu Wenzhao, who is from Beijing. She came to Tunis, the capital and the largest city in Tunisia, for a business trip. Wu Wenzhao confirmed that she easily took a boarding pass and left the Chinese border. She added that it only caused her less than a minute to enter the territory of Tunisia after her plane landed.
Geographically speaking, Tunisia is placed between the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean basin. It is also accessible to the Atlas Mountains which make the country more popular among tourists especially for adventure-seekers. The Tunisia Welcome Service (WTS) believes that the visa exemption of Chinese citizens to Tunisia will boost the Chinese economic interests to country which will eventually lead to the improvement of the African market.
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