August 10, 2018 / 7:28 AM / in 11 days

Tunisia's tourism revenues jump by 42 percent until July 31

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia’s tourism revenues rose by 42 percent to $554 million in the first seven months, its country’s tourism minister said on Thursday as the sector recovers three years after two major militant attacks.

Russian tourists take part in an aqua aerobics session on a beach in Sousse, Tunisia, June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

After shunning the North African country in the wake of 2015 gun attacks on a beach in Sousse that killed 39 tourists and one at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis that killed 21, major European tour operators have started to return this year.

The number of foreign visitors rose by 23 percent to 4.4 million until July 31 compared with the same period a year earlier, tourism minister Salma Loumi told a conference.

Officials have predicted some 8 million tourists will come this year, above the pre-attack level of 7.1 million seen in 2014.

The return of European visitors would give a strong boost to the struggling economy and support the country’s fledgling currency.

Reporting by Mohamed Argoubi; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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