April 3, 2018 / 12:09 PM / 4 months ago

Tunisia's tourism revenues grow 23 pct in first quarter

TUNIS, April 3 (Reuters) - Tunisia’s tourism revenues rose 23 percent year-on-year in the first three months of 2018, the government said on Tuesday, as the sector recovers from two militant attacks on holidaymakers in 2015.

Tourism minister Salma Loumi forecast last month that arrivals would reach a record 8 million this year, fully reversing the damage inflicted by the attacks..

“Revenues rose by 23 percent from 371 million dinars ($153 million) in the first three months of 2017 to 457 million dinars ($188 million) in the first three months of 2018,” the tourism ministry said in statement.

The sector accounts for about 8 percent of Tunisia’s gross domestic product.

Major European tour operators have started to return this year after shunning Tunisia following the gun attack on a beach in Sousse that killed 38 tourists - 30 of them British - and another at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis that killed 21.

Last February, Thomas Cook flew British tourists to Tunisia for the first time since the Sousse attack. TUI, Europe’s largest travel group, said it too planned to offer holidays in Tunisia again, starting in May. ($1 = 2.4255 Tunisian dinars) (Reporting by Tarek Amara Editing by Ulf Laessing; editing by David Stamp)

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