The tragic attacks in Sousse dealt a fatal blow to tourism in Tunisia, while the Minister of Tourism Selma Elloumi Rekik valuates the economic impact at more than 450 million euros.
The Minister of Tourism, Selma Elloumi Rekik, announced a series of exceptional measures in order to allow the sector, which is so essential to Tunisia's economy, to manage the crisis of which it was a victim. According to the Tunisian website Business News, these measures especially include the reduction of the VAT applied to the sector from 12% to 8%; by granting a bonus to employees experiencing layoffs following rather than the tourism industry they are connected to; the implementation of exceptional seven-year loans with reimbursement guaranteed by the government to finance the activities of each tourism institution for the years 2015 and 2016. In addition, the minister announced the suppression of the visa obligation for visitors from countries such as Angola, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Belorussia, Kazakhstan and Cyprus.
These measures were adopted further to the announcement of the implementation of a better armed tourism police starting July 2, 2015 both within and outside tourist areas. "One thousand security agents will reinforce this body," remarked the government in a press release.
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