Creation of a discovery tour in the Oasis of Chenini - Tunisia


The Chenini Oasis is a heritage to preserve and beauty to promote 

The beauty and specific character of the ecosystem in the Oasis of Chenini-Gabès has always been a world that has attracted lovers of greenery and unique oasis landscapes. This Garden of Eden reputation has started to wain following the arrival of the chemical industry which has brought its fair share of environmental problems to an area once mainly focused on agriculture. With the drop in farming income and rise in abandoned farm fields, together with unplanned construction in the oasis, a loss of local know-how is beginning to be felt. Young people are leaving the farming profession and the lack of promotion of local date varieties coupled with reduced tourist appeal has practically sealed the fate of this oasis. Our trail seeks to reassert the value of the Chenini Oasis for tourism as an awareness-raising tool to raise farmers’ income in the short-term and safeguard the oasis in the medium and long-term.

Consultation: the biggest voyage starts with the first step!

Tourist trails were developed by the Campus in Chenini and subsequently refined by the eco-volunteers. The various trails were produced as part of a participatory approach in partnership with the local community and associations, the heritage institute and the regional tourist board. This was achieved through a process of collective and one-to-one meetings and field visits with supervision during, and outside, the campus. A process launched in partnership with the Mayor of Chenini-Nahal helped include Chenini in the list of Tunisian “tourist town” with the Ministry of Tourism. ASOC made a bid for the discovery trail produced and was subsequently successful.

Using research on the accommodation offer which targets solidarity-based tourism and agri-tourism, the eco-volunteers arranged a series of meetings (with organic farmers from Chenini, AJZ and Accueil Paysans France) to gain inspiration from their experiences in this type of tourism with organic farmers in the region. A test visit of the discovery trail was organised with young people from the local area to produce finalised documents.

finalised offer… for you to discover!

The eco-volunteering missions were a continuation of the work undertaken by the campus and once completed, the result was a visitor guide with maps, explanatory panels, and signage for the trail ready to be produced. A detailed digitised document covering the various aspects of the tourist product will serve as a database for the rest of the project. The participation of local people (organic farmers, women farmers and the local residents, etc.) continues to develop the local farming and food and cultural offer.

In the end, the ‘win-win’ approach is always the best tool to ensure that a project continues.
National and international promotion and publicity on the offer remains to be done in the post-project phase, and a guide training course is planned for next year. The work produced nevertheless encompasses the various tourist offers in Chenini and the first guide for the all-new tourist regions of Tunisia. The project has been a successful initiative which the Chenini Town Council has recently promoted with a “tourism” label. As such, the town will receive an additional budget to maintain the tourist facilities on the discovery trails as the main offer in the area and the promise to print a hundred guides.

 

 

A project supported by the association: Association de Sauvegarde de l'Oasis de Chenini