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Port of El Kantaoui


The Port of El Kantaoui  (Tunisia) was built in 1979 specifically as a tourist centre around a large artificial harbour extending over an area of 4 ha, which provides mooring with 550 berths for luxury yachts. With a privileged location and its exceptional site Port El Kantaoui has become a desirable destination for all yachtsmen sailing in the Mediterranean. It hosts sporting activities from water skiing to paragliding, and several golf courses.



 Socioeconomic impact assessment


Socioeconomic conditions refer to human beings and their characteristics, which are usually dynamic variables that differ widely within the same community and from one community to another. Generally, there is a number of broad sets of socioeconomic impacts that could be developed including economic impacts namely: demography, employment, health, and community resources including political, social, economic and cultural conditions.


Socioeconomic assessment is a way to learn about the social, cultural, economic and political conditions of stakeholders including individuals, groups, communities and organizations and identify those that may be affected by a development project or plan.


The assessment of socio-economic conditions of the study site involved collecting existing information from secondary sources. Information was examined in order to:


i) define volume and typology (e.g. cruising, boating, chartering) of marine traffic and their seasonal variation, potential pollution sources within and around the sites;


ii) conduct stakeholders analysis at the local and regional levels, to identify different stakeholders and the potentials and means of their involvement at various phases of the project.



 El Kantoui (Tunisia)



 Figure 1. El Kantaoui marina


El Kantoui is a touristic complex located about 10 km north of Sousse in central Tunisia. It is a tourist complex built in 1979 specifically as a tourist center around an artificial harbor which provides mooring with 550 berths for luxury yachts (Figure 1). The port hosts, usually, sporting activities from water skiing to paragliding, and several gold courses. It also, includes housing complex that was built around a marina mainly leased for short periods of time, in addition to a number of restaurants and shops.

El Kantaoui port is a part of a touristic center with no of permanent residents, which means that tourism activities have direct socioeconomic impacts on the area. Tourism activities may have some impacts on nearby settlements, such Sousse.

During the tourism season of 2009 El Kantaoui port received 551 yachts with 1,428 passengers. It was noted that the majority of these yachts came from high income countries (Figure 2). The passengers of these yachts had long average length of stay.  



Figure 2. Yachts arrived El Kantaoui during 2009 by origin.


During the field visit it was noted that there is a trend of transition in El Kantaoui to receive increasing number of tourists from East Europe and nearby Arab countries such as Libya. It is worth mentioning that El Kantaoui port as a tourist port could be facing tough competition form another touristic port being developed along the coast of Tunisia. Such a competition may threaten the sustainability of tourism activities in El Kantaoui port.  




El Kantaoui study site has a number of issues relevant to tourism activities, for instance:  

  • El Kantaoui is a touristic resort that depends mainly on tourism activities, mainly recreational tourism. Such non-diverse economy and competition from other  touristic ports alongside the coast may threaten the sustainability of El Kantaoui harbor itself;
  • the development of tourism activities in El Kantaoui should be part of an integrated tourism development plan for the Sousse region. This may enable the utilization of other tourism facilities in the region.

Meanwhile, there are some opportunities or positive aspects such as:

  • the port attracts yachts and passengers mainly from high income countries,
  • the yachts and passengers have a long average length of stay.

According to such an assessment, DPSIR analysis of tourism development of the study site is as follows:

  • Driving forces
    • the need for tourism revenues,
    • tourism development and increasing number of tourists.
  • Pressure
    • increasing demand for marine transportation,
    • developing new tourism facilities and infrastructure (in port area and its surroundings),
    • the need for more power and water supplies.
  • States
    • quality of water and marine environment within the port area,
    • living standards in the port surrounding,
    • income levels and economic structure,
    • historical and archaeological site of unique significance.
  • Impacts
    • deteriorating quality of marine environment,
    • pressure on existing services and infrastructures,
    • substandard living conditions,
    • providing more job opportunities,
    • reduced rate of unemployment and poverty,
    • damage of areas of unique significance.
  • Responses
    • allocate more investments on services and infrastructure provision,
    • promoting the private sector participation,
    • developing an EMS in the port area,
    • setting a tourism development strategy,
    • attract more tourists.




Stakeholders’ levels of involvement


The stakeholders group in case of El Kantaoui can be categorized into four levels of involvement, according to their interests, power and influence (Figure 3).

The key stakeholders groups are Port management and Sousse region that should be managed closely and highly involved in the project activities. Meanwhile, Both of National Guard and Coast Guard should be kept satisfied due to their high influence.




Figure 3. Levels of involvement of different stakeholders groups.





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