Tourism and Tunisia Riots

3 Feb

As mentioned in my previous post, I have been in a flu-induced delirium for most of this week.  This has coincided with revolutionary events unfolding in Egypt, which I have been paying close attention to. Egypt occupies such a critical position in the relationship between the Arab World and the West.

The uprising in Egypt was, to a large extent, a knock-on from the success of a recent uprising in Tunisia.  One sweaty, sleepless night I listened to this podcast that discussed the role of tourism in Tunisia’s interesting history.   The main takeouts are that:

– Tunisia’s openness to tourism in the 1950s and 1960s contributed to its economic success and, therefore, stability, BUT…

– The nature of tourism was reminiscent of Tunisia’s period as a French colony, where those that were close to the West (tourist workers) were well-off, but subservient.

Was the emergence of the popular reformist movement in Tunisia have been caused, to some extent, by the ongoing subjugation of Tunisian culture – first by colonialism and then by tourism?

Drawing parallels between tourism and colonialism isn’t new (insert references here…please, because I’m not going to).  Its still bubbling away there.  I would really like to intellectualise this some, but I got the dumb.

Domestic tourism has its own special appeal in Tunisia


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