Tunis — The Tunisian Travel Agencies and Tourism Federation (FTAV) and Tunisian Hotel Trade Federation (FTH) organised, on Saturday in Tunis, with the participation of several stakeholders in the tourism sector, a peaceful march in which they claimed anti-violence action and enforcement of law.
Participants--about 150 persons--in this march, in which the Tunisian General Labour Union also took part, waved placards which notably read "Alarm Call to Save Tunisian Tourism," "Solving Problems of Tourism and Solving of Problem of Unemployment" and "No to Disorder and to Violence."
The marchers converging from different regions of the country held bunches of flowers, as a show of the peaceful nature of their protest, also emphasised the importance of law enforcement and sang the national anthem.
FTAV Chairman Mohamed Ali Toumi announced, to TAP news agency, "the imminent creation of the Tunisian Tourism Professional Union, to act as a professional organisation tasked with the sector's management and examination of its needs."
Mr. Toumi stressed the importance of the tourism sector in the Tunisian economy, with 400,000 jobs, and its being an income source for more than 2 million people, pointing out that the sector would not resume activity if violence and sit-ins persisted.
He recommended to enforce the law to save the sector, specifying that several trips to Tunisia have been cancelled as a result of the acts of violence which paralysed the sector.
FTH Chairman Mohamed Belajouza said that the march in which take part professionals of the tourist sector operating directly or indirectly, such as the tourist guide and the Tunisian Shipping Company (CTN), "is the first of its kind in the history of Tunisian tourism."
Mr. Belajouza added that the tourism sector could not stand anymore the damage caused in 2011 and 2012, calling on Government to protect and save the sector.
He specified that the tourism professionals are capable to rule the sector, without resorting to the State whose duty remains the administrative organisation, promulgation and enforcement of laws, a matter which has been shown by international specialised studies.