June 11, 2020 | Press Review

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Photo: John S. on Flickr

June 11, 2020: Abbou: The financial situation of the country is very worrying… No recruitments

The minister in charge of civil service and good governance, Mohamed Abbou announced on Wednesday that the situation of the country’s finances is very worrying for this year, because of the COVID-19 crisis. Abbou also explained that for this reason, there will be no recruitment in the structures under the State, except perhaps a few rare recruitments in certain sectors such as the chemical group.

For more information (in French), please consult the following link.

11 June, 2020: Roadmap (from UNIH) for the resumption of the Tunisian hotel industry

The National Union of the hotel industry (UNIH), chaired by our fellow-member Afif Kchouk, sent us its “roadmap” as a contribution on its part to find solutions to the serious crisis that the Tunisian hotel industry is going through, following the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, to ensure the resumption of hotel activity, the UNIH proposes “short-term measures” to be taken and implemented immediately and in the very short term, but also “structural measures” to be activated in the short, medium and long term whose aim is to revive the development of the hotel sector.
Cyclical measures: 9 June 2020 – 31 March 2021
Financial measures: there are 5 of them, namely :
1- Payment by the State of STEG and SONEDE invoices, CNSS contributions and tax fees from 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021, for hotels that request it. These regulations will be considered as credits and fall within the framework of the credit line of 500 MDT.
2- Granting “small” campaign credits for the start of the season.
3- Suspend for one year, the ” class 4 ” classification by the BCT to allow all hotels to benefit from bank credits.
4- Give more explanations and details on the practical and concrete modalities of the implementation of the 500 MDT credit line.
5- Activate as soon as possible the entry into force of this line of credit: absolute urgency considering the state of bankruptcy in which the majority of hotels find themselves.
Sanitary measures, also 5 in number:
1- To impose the ONTT as the sole interlocutor of the hoteliers (neither police, nor labour inspection, nor health) for the control of the application of the procedures of the “Health Protocol of Tunisian Tourism” (PSTT).
2- Introduce more flexibility and allow more time in the application of the PSTT.
3- To ensure the availability on the market of the equipment and material (infrared thermometer, mud flaps, signs…) necessary for the implementation of this PSTT.
4- Set the prices of this equipment and prohibit any speculation.
5- Allow hoteliers to access screening tests for their guests and staff.
Trade measures (5 in total) :

  • Immediately implement a crisis communication strategy.
    2- Reactivate the crisis unit, which should be in open and permanent meeting.
    3- Develop three recovery scenarios: pessimistic, realistic and optimistic, with deadlines.
    4- To create a real partnership between the hotel owners and the representatives of the ONTT abroad for the daily exchange on the economic situation, the situation of the production and distribution networks, as well as on the actions of the competition on the markets sending tourists to Tunisia.
    5- Establish a major marketing strategy based on e-reputation: social networks, reservation platform, etc.
    Social measures (5 in total) :
  • Finding solutions to the problem of unemployment among hotel staff, such as training and retraining.
    2- To this end, create a crisis unit to deal with cases on a day-to-day basis.
    3- Accept versatility and flexibility of jobs and schedules.
    4- To consider salary reductions.
    5- Reflect on the revision of the Labour Code and the Collective Agreement.
    Structural measures concern the development strategy for the period 2020 -2023
    Financial measures
    1- Implement a Marshall Plan.
    2- Upgrade, rehabilitate and renovate the hotel stock: investment (4 billion dinars).
  • To grant hoteliers “supplier” credits in the absence of campaign credits.
    4- Solve the problem of indebtedness on the basis of the “WHITE PAPER”.
    5- To return to the old VAT rates and on alcoholic beverages.
    Management measures
    1- Create economic interest groups and voluntary channels.
    2- Ensure the compression of charges and rationalization of production costs.
    3- Find solutions to parallel accommodation: at the inhabitant’s home, Airbnb… ; consolidate the classic markets of Europe (West and East).
    4- Developing digital marketing, e-reputation, etc.
    5- Adapting to new realities (post-COVID-19).
    To ensure its sustainability, the Tunisian hotel industry must regenerate itself, dare to change in continuity, and adapt to other economic models. It must successfully migrate to new ecosystems. The Tunisian hotel industry still has a great future ahead of it.

For more information (in French), please consult the following link.