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TTG Features North Africa & Red Sea Updates

Red Sea Holidays’ 2013-14 programme features Sahl Hasheesh and Soma Bay resorts for the first time. New hotels include Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh, Sheraton Soma Bay Resort and Grand Rotana Resort & Spa. Regional flights are available from 11 UK airports including Birmingham to Hurghada and Exeter to Sharm el Sheikh. ■

The sustainability-themed Royal Botanic Garden of Jordan is due to open to the public this June. Meanwhile, Amman’s $25 million Jordan Museum showcasing rare treasures opens in September. ■

Port El Kantaoui

Back from the brink

Not long since its part in the Arab Spring, Tunisia is making a tourism comeback with prospects for 2013 looking bright. Tim Clarke reports

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unisia is set to become a leading tourism destination once more, according to specialist

operator Just Sunshine. The independent operator has seen a surge of interest in the country in the last year and expects a rise of 11% in 2013 to 15,000 bookings. In response to the mini-boom it has launched routes from Newcastle and Glasgow and has expanded its range of hotels in its 2013 brochure.

21.02.2013 “Given the fact that a couple of

years ago Tunisia went through the revolution, unbelievably the public has bounced back and it is now back on the map,” says Just Sunshine marketing manager Chris Mansell. UK visitor numbers from the

Tunisian National Tourist Board back the trend, showing the first 10 months of 2012 had already surpassed the 300,000 expected by the year-end. A short flying time and the exotic

image of the country are among key factors tempting tourists, says Mansell: “Those who haven’t been to Tunisia before think it is further away than it really is. It has a huge amount of antiquities and things to see and do, plus it has a Middle- Eastern flavour.”

Bigger brochures Just Sunshine’s 2013 brochure additions include three new hotels in Skanes and three in Sousse, including the five-star Movenpick Resort & Marine Spa. Mansell claims “considerably more competitive prices” than rivals and says the operator has the ability to increase capacity for specialist trips. The operator believes good trade

relations are important. It operates up to eight fam trips every year, participates in TTG On Tour with the Tunisian National Tourist Office and has launched an e-learning course. Mansell adds: “We know that our commission is more favourable than the big boys – there aren’t many specialist operators to Tunisia, and we believe that agents should be rewarded for what they do.”

G Adventures’ new Jordan Active Adventure includes trekking in the little-visited Ajloun Nature Reserve and through desert to Petra, climbing down canyons to the Dead Sea and hiking the Dana Biosphere Reserve. ■

Jerusalem has launched a free app with a series of 16 audio walking tours and five disabled- access tours to guide visitors around its historic sites. The app can be downloaded from ■

A new sailing attraction, Sail La Vie, has opened in Egypt’s El Gouna resort (above). Courses include two-hour beginners sessions from ¤30 for windsurfing and ¤60 for dinghy sailing. ■

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