Tunisia has long been a favourite destination for filmmakers with spectacular landscapes, old cities and reasonable costs when it comes to making movies. Many box-office hits were born in Tunisia and the country now aims to capitalise on their value for tourism.

“Star Wars”, “The English Patient”, “Pirates”, “Indiana Jones”, “Monty Python, the Life of Brian” or Pasolini’s “Decameron”. The names speak fro themselves. And they all have something in common: they were partially or totally filmed in Tunisia.

It’s a source of inspiration which is now generating a new tourism circuit for travellers, keen to discover where their favourite movie took place in the reality.

The project “Film route in Tunisia in the footsteps of cult films” is supported in a joint effort by Tunisia’s Ministry of Tourism, the European Union as well as the GIZ, an agency supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for the promotion of sustainable tourism.

This route is due to contribute to the diversification of Tunisia’s tourism offer through the development of new tourism products and the creation of thematic routes with a strong tourism potential. It is also seen as the perfect means to integrate new and varied economic activities around tourism. These include agriculture, craft, and cultural heritage.

The new circuit is looking at bringing more international exposure to secondary destinations in Tunisia. The new film route crosses the whole of the nation, passing through ten regions including more than fifteen sites. Indeed, the circuit stretches from Tunis to Tataouine, in the deep southeast of the country. Fans of “Star Wars” may remember Luke Skywalker‘s fictional home planet Tatooine. The name was directly taken from the city!  

Among the various sites already selected along the new film route are the Roman site of Carthage, the Latrach Studio Empire, the Ribat of Monastir, the Medina of Kairouan, Ong Jmal/ Canyon of Sidi Bouhlel, Chott El Jerid/ Mos Espa, Hotel Sidi Driss/ Zraoua Village, KssarMedenine, KssarHadada/ KssarOuledSoltane and the Mghar Mosque/ Cantina/ Lighthouse/ Sidi Jmour/ Sidi Yati.

The promotional poster to the new route

Sustainability of the film route

The objective of the film route in Tunisia is to :

  • Capitalise on Tunisia’s assets related to the movie industry and turn the sector into a new commercial product for tourists in groups, individuals or for tour operators;
  • Promote Tunisia through a film route that tracks the locations of world-famous films;
  • Support the Ministry of Tourism in developing new themes.

The GIZ is helping the different players in each site to manage and enhance their product related to the film route theme. This includes thematic management, upgrading of sites, the governance and the sustainability of the route. GIZ is working with the Ministry of Tourism and the Tunisian National Tourist Office as well as the Ministry of Cultural Affairs on a communication strategy for the film route.

Other actions include consultations with tour operators and travel agencies; support for the private sector to invest around the selected sites in order to create an economic dynamic in the regions and generate jobs; and encouragement of young people and SMEs to develop digital products/ideas around the theme route.

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