October 3, 2013 / 4:40 PM / 6 years ago

Tunisia's tourism revenue up but still lagging pre-Arab Spring levels

TUNIS, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Tunisia’s tourism revenues grew by 2.7 percent in the first nine months of 2013 from a year earlier, but have yet to regain the levels reached before its Arab Spring uprising, data showed on Thursday.

Tourism is one of the North African country’s biggest sources of income but many visitors have stayed away since the uprising that overthrew President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011 and marked the start of political protests across the Middle East and North Africa..

Revenues from tourism totalled 2.33 billion Tunisian dinars ($1.42 billion) for the first nine months of this year, up from the same period last year but still 6.7 percent lower than the same period in 2010, the tourism ministry said.

Tunisia attracted 4,950 million tourists between the beginning of this year and September.

In 2012 tourism revenues reached $2.1 billion, up 30 percent from the previous year. However, Tunisia is struggling to restore security and woo back Western visitors, many of whom have been discouraged by the rise of Islamic militancy. ($1 = 1.6413 Tunisian dinars) (Reporting By Tarek Amara; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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