This young adventurer launched the very first alternative tourism agency in Tunisia’s South
Mohamed Guemri, an adventure and extreme sports enthusiast, launched South Tunisia Adventure in February 2020. Specialized in the organization of alternative tourism tours, its the first agency of its kind in Tataouine.
Passionate about his native region, Mohamed prepared himself well before launching his innovative business. Over the last few years, the young entrepreneur devoted himself to discovering Tunisia’s South, visiting many locations and unexplored places that he now plans to share with others.
While Tunisia is famous for its beach holidays, alternative tourism is an emerging niche market. In recent years a small but growing number of local entrepreneurs have been pursuing alternatives to the all-inclusive holiday, offering experiences that bring visitors closer to the country and that are kinder to the environment. Alternative tourism offers to diversify the tourism industry and provide new economic prospects, especially in the country’s interior regions. These sustainable initiatives also tap into a growing demand from international and local tourists looking for an authentic experience.
South Tunisia Adventure is one such startup that enhances the local tourism offering. Determined to help create an individualized experience for every visitor, Mohamed offers guided walking tours, cycling and camping in undiscovered parts of Southern Tunisia.
“We organize unique tours to help people get off the beaten track and discover the real Tunisia,” explains Mohamed. “From mountain biking in Ghomrassen to a traditional Berber dinner at the gateway to the desert, we have all the equipment to offer an unforgettable experience.”
The agency took off very quickly and, with the festivals and the March holidays, Mohamed won 6 clients in only a few weeks. But with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mohamed’s activities ground to a halt, suffering the consequences of the closing of borders and the cease of domestic and international tourism.
“Like all professionals in the tourism sector, the arrival of the COVID-19 outbreak and the closing of borders has been a major blow to our activities. International tourism accounts for 90% of my clientele. With the cease of my activities since March, I had to completely revise my commercial strategy. Today, I am focusing primarily on local tourism to resume my activities in September. This is the only realistic option we have.”
In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the young entrepreneur is focusing on domestic tourism. And, with the support of Mashrou3i, is preparing a new website to help raise awareness of his innovative offering. The project is also providing technical support to develop his marketing strategy and English language training so he can better communicate with his customers. Despite the setback, Mohamed is confident that he will be better placed to target local and international tourists in 2021.