Friday, June 17, 2011

Visit Tunisia for Sidi Bou Said, not for their ad campaign

Typical street in Sidi Bou Said
Tunisia's been on my mind this week after I read this article about their current tourist advertising campaign - trying to use some controversial kind of phrases to get holiday makers to come back to Tunisia after the recent political upheaval leading to the end of President Ben Ali's rule. I like the thought - because I love Tunisia and would love people to keep visiting it, and I know they need the tourist income - but I'd rather encourage you to visit by showing you some more of the beautiful spots around the country.

It was actually a reasonably chilly Christmas Day when I stayed in a tiny (not windproof) hotel room in Sidi Bou Said, a little town just north of the capital, Tunis. Fortunately, the cold just made sure I didn't linger in bed and I got out and wandered the town properly instead. I think it's a pretty well-kept secret but seeing Sidi Bou Said is heaps better than visiting all those tourist-infested parts of Greece which look just the same!

I got obsessed with doors and cats in Sidi Bou Said!
The white and blue theme is all over the village and there are also a lot of friendly cats to be seen. When I was there, there was also no resort accommodation (my advice is to avoid the resort accommodation in Tunisia when you can - the small local hotels are so much cuter!) - as far as I can find out, that's still the case - and the tourists were day visitors from nearby towns. Staying there was fantastic. Although my camera did get a bit worn out snapping all the gorgeous buildings!

So instead of the controversial ad campaign with slogans like "In Tunisia, some people get heavy-handed treatment" (with a picture of a massage) or "Tunisia is nothing but ruins", my slogan is a lot less sexy but more honest. "Tunisia has beautiful buildings and cool cats. So just go." (This is why I'm not in advertising.) Do you think my slogan would convince you?


  1. Oh I'd go visit for the beautiful blue doors alone!!! Lovely

  2. Thanks Kate, and yes as I looked through my photos I did see I'd taken rather a lot of shots of blue doors, but they were all so different and so gorgeous!


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