76 Professionals Trained, Accelerating Tourism Association Competitiveness in Tunis and Tunisia’s Southern and Western Regions

Articles / 27-02-2023

USAID Visit Tunisia Activity brought together 76 professionals from 41 local tourism associations in 11 governorates to participate in participatory approach-based strengthening workshops to accelerate their associations’ competitiveness in the Tunisian market. Held in Tozeur in January and Tabarka in February, these workshops successfully engaged 39 women – over half of the participants.

"The challenge we’ve been facing for 10 years is how to motivate our teams and boost the retention of our communities with whom we share our core values that drive our work." — Selly Rayes, Consultant, La Ruche de Tozeur

After success of the first phase of the UPSKILL program that successfully trained 27 professionals from eight of the largest tourism federations and associations in Tunis in November 2022 , USAID Visit Tunisia began the implementation of phase two in the Tabarka and Tozeur regions. These capacity-strengthening workshops were carefully designed to address pain points in the industry and strengthen the programming and project implementation capacities. These sessions held in early 2023 successfully engaged 41 regional associations, undoubtedly increasing the competitiveness of Tunisia’s sustainable tourism industry. By the end of March 2023, fourteen associations from this larger pool will be selected (through a soon-to-be-released EOI) for customized mentorship and technical assistance programs, in addition to grant support.

“This training will allow us to shape, define, and professionalize our skills and knowledge. Currently, we are prioritizing fundraising and grants. For instance, how to write grant proposals in Tunisia in a more structured way.” —Ahmed Chriqui, Member, Toujane Sauvegarde et Protection

Top 5 Insights from the Workshops

  1. The participatory approach sparked attendee interest and increased their information retention;
  2. More than half of the participants were women;
  3. Each association succeeded in developing a vision, mission, and strategic plan;
  4. In addition to delivering technical training, the workshops raised awareness of the potential areas for improvement, previously overlooked by the associations in Tunisia’s southern and western regions;
  5. 92% of the associations were satisfied with the quality of the workshops.

To build their capacity, the associations addressed their most pressing challenges and acquired knowledge and tools to respond to them. Examples of discussion topics were:
  • Improving management structures and governance;
  • Tailoring work plans with time-bound objectives and financial budget;
  • Strengthening database systems and management;
  • Improving communications and media relations;
  • Establishing or improving member services;
  • Increasing promotion of their services;
  • Mobilizing quality resources.
“The workshops brought awareness of areas of improvements. We became more aware of the dysfunctions and the challenges we are failing to overcome in our association such as governance, communications, and fundraising. We realized we have a lot to rethink, fix and improve.” Arjound, Member, Association Tunisienne des Enseignants de Français (ATEF).

Strengthening the Capacity of 34 Tourism Associations from the Southern regions (Tozeur Workshop)

On January 13 and 14, professionals and active members in tourism associations from Kebili, Tozeur, Gabès, Tataouine, and Medenine participated in capacity-strengthening workshops in Tozeur. 19 total associations were represented by 34 people (17 of whom were women).
Enjoy the full photo album of the Tozeur Workshop here.

Certification ceremony in Tozeur on Januray 14th, 2023

Strengthening the Capacity of 34 Tourism Associations from the Southern regions (Tozeur Workshop)

After completing the aforementioned Tozeur training, the training traveled to Tabarka to meet with the associations from Tunisia’s Western regions. From February 1st and 2nd, USAID Visit Tunisia trained 42 participants from 22 local tourism associations from Kairouan, Tabarka/Aïn Draham, Gabès, Béja, Jendouba, and Tunis. 22 women (more than half of the attendees) engaged in these workshops.
Explore more photos from the Tabarka Workshop

Certification ceremony in Tabarka on February 2nd, 2023

What’s Next for these Federations: Mentorship, Targeted Assistance and Grant Support

The participants of these workshops were given two weeks to prepare their concept notes on potential projects to continue development, take part in coaching sessions to refine them, and then submit them for evaluation. By the end of March 2023, 14 projects will be selected for more technical assistance, mentorship and grant support up to $5000. Six projects from the Tunis workshops in the first phase of UPSKILL will also be selected.

UPSKILL is the Tunisian tourism sector’s first program of its kind, providing targeted capacity building training to federations and associations. Its unique learning structure combines in-person and online learning, including customized mentorship to leverage international best practices and resources that has been developed and implemented by the USAID Visit Tunisia Activity. UPSKILL will accelerate the competitiveness of Tunisian sustainable tourism across a diverse range of regions and backgrounds. Photo/video ©Montassar Lassoued/USAID

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