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    Tourism experts have been suggesting that Tunisia could come to rival Spain in popularity. Travel?

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    Tourism experts have been suggesting that Tunisia could come to rival Spain in popularity. Travel to the country will become easier as a result of the opening of a major new airport this week -- the Tunis-Carthage airport, built to handle up to two-million passengers a year.

    President Habib Bourguiba opened the airport on Tuesday (August 1st). It's been built at a cost of 15 million dinar (over GBP12 million sterling) on a site just four miles (seven kms) from Tunis.

    SYNOPSIS: In Tunisia, a new international airport opened this week. Travel experts have been predicting that Tunisia could become the next boom country of the European tourist industry. There are suggestions that it might eventually rival Spain in popularity. The new Tunis-Carthage airport, built just a few miles from the capital, will play a major part in opening up the country's tourist potential.

    The government called for careful projections of future travel needs before commissioning the airport. Original estimates suggested that it would be handling just under a million air passengers a year. But the authorities decided to double the specifications, and the new airport can cope with two million passengers a year - or two-thousand every hour. Diplomats arriving to look over the facilities this week found the airport connected to the capital by a four-lane motorway.

    The official opening ceremony was on Tuesday. On the same day, another but smaller airport was to be opened in the south at Monastir-Skanes.

    President Bourguiba arrived to inaugurate the Tunis-Carthage airport. It marks a major advance for his country. Back in 1962, the only airport in Tunisia could handle no more than a hundred-and-sixty thousand passengers a year. The new development has runways suitable for the largest, jetliners, including Jumbo Jets.

    After the opening, President Bourguiba spoke to the men who will run the airport. It's been gradually built up over a number of years at a total cost of over twelve million pounds sterling. And it should help meet the needs of visitors to Tunisia for many years to come.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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