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70 Tunisia hotels closed since jihadist attacks


AFP

At least 70 hotels have closed in Tunisia since September after two deadly jihadist attacks on foreign tourists, and more are expected to follow suit, an industry official said on Sunday.

"The situation is very sluggish," Radhouane Ben Salah, the head the Tunisian Federation of Hotels, told private Mosaique FM radio.

With reservations at "no more than 20%, 70 hotels had to close since September because the lack of clients and more are expected to do the same," he added.

Ben Salah said he expected unemployment to climb as hotel staff would be forced out of work.

Joblessness already stands at nearly 30%, with the number even higher among youths, and one in six Tunisians lives below the poverty line.

The country's key tourism sector contributes to 10% of gross domestic product, and employs 400 000 people, directly or indirectly.

But it has been badly shaken by attacks on foreign tourists at the National Bardo Museum in the capital in March and a beachside massacre near the coastal city of Sousse in June.

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