World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide

Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

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Tunisia Travelling Guide
Tunisia Travelling Guide

General background: Following independence from France in 1956, President Habib BOURGUIBA established a strict one-party state. He dominated the country for 31 years, repressing Islamic fundamentalism and establishing rights for women unmatched by any other Arab nation. In recent years, Tunisia has taken a moderate, non-aligned stance in its foreign relations. Domestically, it has sought to diffuse rising pressure for a more open political society.

Area comparative: Slightly larger than Georgia.

Climate: Temperate in north with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers; desert in south.

Terrain: Mountains in north; hot, dry central plain; semiarid south merges into the Sahara.

Population: 9,815,644 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Arab 98%, European 1%, Jewish and other 1%

Religions: Muslim 98%, Christian 1%, Jewish and other 1%

Language: Arabic (official and one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce)

Government type: Republic

Capital: Tunis

Legal system: Based on French civil law system and Islamic law; some judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court in joint session.

Economic overview: Tunisia has a diverse economy, with important agricultural, mining, energy, tourism, and manufacturing sectors. Governmental control of economic affairs while still heavy has gradually lessened over the past decade with increasing privatisation, simplification of the tax structure, and a prudent approach to debt. Real growth averaged 5.4% in the past five years, and inflation is slowing. Growth in tourism and increased trade have been key elements in this steady growth, although tourism revenues have slowed since 11 September 2001 and may take a year or more to fully recover. Tunisia's association agreement with the European Union entered into force on 1 March 1998, the first such accord between the EU and a Mediterranean country. Under the agreement Tunisia will gradually remove barriers to trade with the EU over the next decade. Broader privatisation, further liberalization of the investment code to increase foreign investment, and improvements in government efficiency are among the challenges for the future.

Communication/Telephone system: Above the African average and continuing to be upgraded.

Places of interest: Tunisia's list of visitor attractions would do justice to a country twice its size. You'll be pleasantly surprised with what Tunisia has to offer.

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