Sun, sea and paradisiacal beaches. In this month of October, Hammamet gathers all the elements to be an ideal destination for tourists, but this sector continues to operate at half gas in Tunisia and Morocco due to the pandemic.
Haykel Akrout has worked for more than 20 years as director of the luxurious Bel Azur hotel, with swimming pools and a thalassotherapy room, located next to the beach in this well-known Tunisian resort town.
The year “2021 was a little better than 2020 (…). But it continued to be two times less good than 2019, because of the sanitary restrictions,” he explained to AFP.
Following an aggressive COVID-19 wave in July, his 1,000-bed hotel had to cut its capacity in half and most European countries advised against traveling to Tunisia.
Like most of the Russians interviewed in Bel Azur, Elena Bakurova decided to travel to this Maghreb country because of its “excellent prices” for a “superb place”.
Coming from Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East, he came for a few days on vacation to this Tunisian beach to celebrate its 44th anniversary and also because “he wanted to discover Africa”.
“We come every year with my mother. France is not like that in October. We cannot go to the beach or sunbathe, it is cold there,” explains Yanis Merabti, 28, a worker from Lyon.
– “Survival” –
“At the moment, we are talking about survival, we are not at all in a context of profitability,” laments Akrout, whose hotel only has 30% of the beds occupied, 130 of them by Russians.
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