As for the sense of the challenge itself, we meet a lot in our daily life: work, family, relationships, …. It is unfortunate to see that many people give up when they make the most of the journey to the world. Accomplishment of an objective. It is therefore above all a mental training. This challenge also represents a positive source of inspiration that I dedicate to those around me, in this case my three daughters whom I try to involve in my project.
When do you do it and why?
I planned to swim this Sunday, September 2nd. But I will have to deal with the weather. The direction and wind speed are important. I must make sure a day where there is the minimum of waves.
I could also back the date a little, to ensure the best conditions because this challenge is twofold: A challenge of distance (5000m) and time. My goal is to make the distance in less than 2 hours.
Kelibia is an open sea and therefore quite difficult.
Effectively. The sea of Kelibia is also very pleasant. The water is crystal clear in some places but quite exposed to the winds. It would be difficult to guarantee a calm sea from end to end of the course, from “Hammam El Ghezaz” to the beach “Chekilia”.
Swimming brings back good memories to Tunisians with the golden merdaille Oussama Mellouli. What do you think of his feat?
In 1998, I was at Singapore airport. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the counter agent at the airport knew our country, unfortunately often unknown outside the Mediterranean area, thanks to Ali Hakimi had qualified for the semi-final of the Olympic Games. When I was in Japan for the first time in 1985, most of those who learned where Tunisia stood had learned from Gammoudi’s feat at the 1962 Tokyo Olympics.
This is to say that the feat of an athlete is of extreme importance for a better visibility of a country.
You are travel agent specialist of the Japanese market, how was the season 2012?
It is true that “Batouta Voyages” was first known as a specialist in the Japanese market, but it has come a long way. For this 2012 – 2013 season, which was scheduled to start in October, we have a pretty busy booking status. If all goes well, that is to say no accidents in connection with the political situation, this season should even be a record year!
But to be frank, it is important to specify that this state is due above all to the precarious situation of Egypt. It also means that Japanese tourists might change destinations if security conditions improve in this country.
How do the Japanese react to the destination?
Like all tourists, safety is the priority. In general, the Japanese (tourists and tour Operators) trust the instructions of their Ministry of Foreign Affairs which provides them with fairly precise and detailed information on the state of security in all destinations.
They segment destinations into zones of different alert levels. During the second half of 2011 and the first half of 2012, the entire Tunisian territory was classified as Alert Level 1, except for the Sidi Bouzid and Métlaoui zones, which were classified as Level 2.
As a specialist in distant markets, has Tunisian tourism benefited from this highlighting after the revolution?
It is obvious that Tunisia has never enjoyed such a level of visibility on the international scene since the revolution. Now, if it is true that a destination needs to be known and publicized in order to maximize its chances of sales, it is even more true that we are going through a delicate moment. Tunisia is perceived as a country pouring into religious extremism. This is due to the incidents caused by the Salafist groups. It is a very negative mediatization.
What is the perception of the destination in Japan? What is the new image of Tunisia in Japan?
For Tunisians, Japan keeps an enigmatic image. I am surprised, however, that many Tunisians still confuse Japan with China. For those we have had the pleasure of accompanying in Japan in organized programs, love at first sight never fails. Tunisians discover a country of dreams!
As for the Japanese, they recognize the historical importance of Carthage and value much the courage of Hannibal to have stood up to Rome. There is even a Japanese historian, Morimoto, who wrote a book in which he drew a parallelism between the history of Carthage and that of Japan. There is warning the Japanese not to persist in wanting to stand up to the USA, at the risk of suffering the same fate as Carthage against Rome in the aftermath of the last Punic war.
Quant à la nouvelle Tunisie, c’est vrai que les Japonais reconnaissent le courage des tunisiens à avoir créé une première dans le monde Arabe. La Tunisie est considérée comme un pays à haut potentiel dans la majorité des domaines. Désormais, il fait prouver qu’ils avaient raison.