Can 'Star Wars' revive Tunisia's tourism?

Tunisia is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first part of “Star Wars” which was filmed in the Tunisian governorate of Tozeur and more precisely in the region of Ong el Jmal. (YouTube)

Tunisia is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first part of “Star Wars” which was filmed in the Tunisian governorate of Tozeur and more precisely in the region of Ong el Jmal. (YouTube)

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Tunisia’s National Tourist Office, on Saturday, celebrated the 40th anniversary of the shooting of the first part of “Star Wars” film, in several tourist sites in the governorate of Tozeur and more precisely in the region of Ong el Jmal that still keeps the decor of that film.

The festivals and events manager Zied Chargui said the festivities included a parade of costumes of the film’s characters and weapons used. That parade toured the main avenue of the city until the ancient city, passing by the Independence Square.

Fans pose in outfits of Stormtroopers on 3 May, 2014 during a parade on the last day of the international meeting of Star Wars fans in Tozeur. (AFP)

Several tourists and fans of the film took part in the parade, which was organised in coordination with about twenty people among fans of the film in Germany.

Read more: A Sigh Of Relief For Tunisia? Number Of Tourists Hits 1M Mark!

“At the same time, promotional short videos have been shot in the region and will be broadcasted on electronic sites and social networks, in order to publicize the region and more precisely the site of Ong El Jmal,” he said, adding that office intends to take this opportunity to promote the governorate of Tozeur as a tourist destination.

Tourists visiting a film set in Ong el Jmal, in southern Tunisia. (AFP)

In the same framework, regional delegate of tourism in Tozeur, Anouar Chetoui pointed to the tourist dynamics that the region experienced during the first three months of the year, marked by an increase in the number of tourists and the volume of reservations.

Read more: Tunisia: Number Of French Tourists Growing Fast But Still Not Enough

The number of tourists residing in hotel units in Tozeur has increased by 107%, from January to March 2017, compared with the same period of 2016.

Similarly, the official noted the return of traditional markets, particularly French and Belgian, in addition to the dynamics observed in the new markets, namely China and Russia.