Articles / 27-04-2023
A banner featuring a few accommodations and attractions in Tozeur and Kebili region. The DDP of Tozeur aims to help tap into the region’s tourism potential. Photo: ©USAID

Paving the Way to the Long-term Sustainable Tourism Sector Growth of Tabarka/Ain Draham, Kairouan, Tozeur, Gabes/Matmata, Tataouine and Kebili/Douz.

USAID Visit Tunisia finalized six regional destination development plans for Tabarka/Ain Draham, Kairouan, Tozeur, Gabes/Matmata, Tataouine and Kebili/Douz — a key milestone achieved, paving the way to the long-term sustainable growth of the regional tourism sector. The DDP activity aims to provide capacity building and leadership support to ONTT’s Regional Tourism Offices (CRTs), and municipalities located in the target destinations to engage the private sector and help tap into their regions’ tourism potential.

USAID Visit Tunisia presenting the DDP of Tataouine on March 14, 2023. Photo: ©USAID

Destination Development Plans to enhance the tourism industry and quality of life in the regions

The main purpose of the destination development plans is to bring the public and private sectors together within six key destinations around Tunisia to have public-private dialogue around what tourism investment priorities, including infrastructure needs, are required to increase tourism influx in the destination. The DDP document is designed to be used by the regional destination to advocate for themselves, the future of tourism, and infrastructure investments in the region.

“We really need to have this high-quality document which gives an overview of the region and includes key information about the rich and diverse tourism products in Tataouine.” — Yacine Dahari, CRT Director of Tataouine.

USAID Visit Tunisia presenting the DDP of Gabes on March 15, 2023. Photo: ©USAID

The Tunisia National Sustainable Tourism Strategy 2035 is built on four strategic objectives: compete, diversify, invest, and market.

To align the plans with the national strategy, each regional DDP was also built on these four strategic objectives. These strategies are designed to support the sustainable growth of the tourism industry in each target region while enhancing the quality of life for people living there. The strategy takes a sustainable destination management approach designed to address negative impacts on the industry while creating positive impacts for local residents, the environment, and cultural heritage.

To attain the above strategic objectives, a matrix table has been prepared for each DDP including the different initiatives and actions needed as well as the proposal of the entities in charge of the strategies’ implementation.

“The DDP of Gabes is an important document that highlights the destination’s vision, structural challenges and potential tourism products and experiences.” — Haythem Yakoub, Owner of Dar El Ferdaous in Gabes.

USAID Visit Tunisia presenting the DDP of Gabes on March 15, 2023. Photo: ©USAID

The DDPs include the following main elements for each region:
  • A cartography and synthesis of the natural and cultural attractions;
  • A statistical analysis of tourist flow evolution during the period 2017-2021 (22);
  • A SWOT analysis specific to the tourism sector in the region;
  • A common vision and strategic axes for the tourism sector by 2035; and
  • A matrix of initiatives and crucial actions for regional tourism development based on the four strategic axes: competition, investment, marketing, and diversification.

To know more, download the regional DDP of your choice at the bottom of this article!

DDP Tabarka/Ain Draham consultation held on March 10, 2023. Photo: ©USAID

A Look Back on the DDP Methodology

The DDP development process involved desk research, field research, and dialogues with a wide range of stakeholders from local government, tour and transport operators, accommodation providers, small business owners, artisans, NGOs and residents across each region.

To successfully complete and deliver the six DDPs, USAID Visit Tunisia convened six round table meetings involving a total of 200 participants, conducted six virtual meetings with 80 participants, and engaged in 270 individual meetings with key stakeholders, including municipalities, regional administrations, artisans, travel agencies, hotels, private museums, camps, restaurants, NGOs and local guides, among others. By proactively engaging with these stakeholders, USAID Visit Tunisia ensured that the DDPs are tailored to the unique needs and strengths of each local community, ultimately enhancing their sustainability and impact.

A few examples of accomodations and cultural attractions in Tozeur and Kebili. Photo: ©USAID

“The main objective of this DDP is to bring together public and private sector stakeholders in the Tabarka-Aïn Draham region and establish a dialogue. We need the DDP to advocate for the destination’s interests and tourism development and infrastructure, including investments.” — Issa al Marouani, CRT Director of Tabarka/Ain Draham.
DDP Tabarka/Ain Draham consultation held on March 10, 2023. Photo: ©USAID

“The DDP of Tozeur constitutes a structured and effective way to guide the various operators in the region to better contribute to the establishment of a sustainable and high value oasian and Saharan tourism sector.” — Yasser Souf, CRT Director of Tozeur.

“The dialogue and exchanges between the public and private sectors developed during the establishment of the Tozeur DDP have generated tangible and indispensable proposals to respond to the various problems of the tourism sector.” — Abdel Fattah Mlik, President of the Regional Federation of Travel Agencies Southwest 1.

DDP Kebili/Douz consultation held on March 16, 2023. Photo: ©USAID

“The study conducted by USAID Visit Tunisia has allowed us to propose practical actions in the main areas of development of oasian and Saharan tourism (competitiveness, diversification, investment and marketing). It is of great interest to proceed immediately to the implementation of these actions in partnership between the public and private sector.” — Ali Abdel Moula, Manager of the Saharan Camping Guerba, Douz.

“The Tozeur DDP includes a detailed analysis of the region's attractions as well as the factors of the crisis in the tourism sector. This study includes solutions that mainly affect the investment and organization of the sector and consolidates the contribution of local private actors.” — Monsef Makhlouf, President of the Regional Federation of Hotels of the Southwest.

DDP Kebili/Douz consultation held on March 16, 2023. Photo: ©USAID

The success of the plans and their implementation will depend on several factors, including collaboration and communication among partners, implementation, effective tourism organizations and capacity, adequate funding, productive public-private partnerships, and monitoring and reporting of this plan.

DDP Kairouan consultation held on March 7, 2023. Photo: ©USAID

Download the DDPs!

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