Tunisia turns to wine tourism to boost economy
Tunisia continues to struggle with tourism after recent tragic events have shaken the country and its economy. Since 2011, Tunisia has failed to regain its status as a holiday hotspot.
The Arab country can trace its wine history back to ancient times, sharing a long past with its Mediterranean friends like Greece. Interestingly, a large proportion of the wines produced in Tunisia are rosé wines. In some years, rosé can account for 70% of the region’s wine. The style is popular domestically, due to the country’s warm climate and a cuisine which favours fruitier wines.
Tunisian vineyards are rarely short of sunlight
Despite Tunisia’s struggles, the country already has an €80m wine economy with over 31,000 hectares of vines. These vines create, in Tunisia’s best years, up to 600,000 hectolitres of wine, of which 40% is exported to foreign markets. Germany and France are Tunisia’s main clients, but the wine also has a market in the United States, Belgium and Russia. Many of Tunisia’s officials now believe the growing ability to produce better and better wines will attract wine enthusiasts from all over the world, providing a welcome boost to the country’s economy.
As such, the country plans to work with landowners to open up hundreds of vineyards to tourists. President of the chamber of alcoholic drinks producers, Ben Sheikh, told the Daily Mail: “Wine is a premium product which relates to both land and history. It is a way of promoting Tunisia.”