'Star Wars' locations boost Tunisia tourism

2019-01-10 17:47:03

Film-induced tourism has helped prop up the industry in Tunisia, as more tourists visit locales featured in the famous Star Wars franchise.

Much of the mega-hit space opera franchise, ‘Star Wars’, was filmed in Tunisia, with Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine stationed in the southern region of the African nation.

Between 1977 and 2005, seven Tunisian cities were used as stand-ins for Tatooine, across the Star Wars films.

Tunisia’s ‘Star Wars’ fan club joined “forces” with the Tunisian National Office for Tourism hosting official tourist events.

For instance, festivals such as the International Meeting of ‘Star Wars’ fans caused an increase in the number of tourists and the volume of reservations in the region.

Ong Jmel lies in the southwest of Tunisia. To ‘Star Wars’ fans, the location is better known as Mos Espa, where Luke Skywalker got to know the smuggler Han Solo, with whom he would embark on his adventures. It’s also where Luke’s father, Anakin Skywalker – who later became Darth Vader – was born.

Tourism in Tunisia is an industry that generates around 8 million arrivals per year, which makes the country among the ones that attract the most tourists in Africa. According to The New York Times, Tunisia is “known for its golden beaches, sunny weather and affordable luxuries.”

However, Tunisia dried up after the country’s revolution during the Arab Spring in 2011. Moreover, terrorist attacks in Tunis and Sousse in 2015 made matters worse, prompting the UK and other European governments to advise against travel to Tunisia. The overall impact had been devastating.