Tunisia's Latest Tourism Campaign Is Not Shying Away From The 'Arab Spring' Riots


Photo: Paul SKG / Wiki Commons

About a year ago we wrote up Mexico’s “The Place You Thought You Knew” tourism advertising campaign.Mexico’s strategy was to focus on all the interesting things you could find in the country, and to hope against hope that you’d forget about all the unpleasant shootings and beheadings and stuff.

A new campaign from post-Arab Spring Tunisia is kind of like that, in that it’s aggressively the exact total opposite.

Instead of dodging the issue of violent riots, which swept across the country during its democratic revolution and claimed over 200 lives,

Tunisia’s tourism people have turned them into a series of dark jokes. The angle is definitely getting people’s attention, so two points for honesty and another two for cleverness we suppose. But dude.

Apparently a series of posters have been produced that get to the heart of the issue.

One ad has an attractive woman getting a massage, with the caption “they say that in Tunisia some people receive heavy-handed treatment.”

A second ad shows an ancient site, and underneath the text reads “they say Tunisia is nothing but ruins.”

The posters have been placed on London buses and in the Paris metro, making this not just a controversial campaign but a very well funded and widely distributed controversial campaign.

Tourism is absolutely critical to many of the Arab Spring countries, something we’ve alluded to before in the context of Egypt.

One in five Tunisians is employed in tourism-related industries, and the country’s economy simply can’t survive without significant tourist money.

So it’s no wonder that the country’s government, all the way up to the tourism minister, have a hand in this campaign.

But still, kind of morbid no?

[Photo: Paul SKG / Wiki Commons]

This post originally appeared at Jaunted.

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