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Though there were other Phoenician cities that remained independent the Carthaginian empire started to spread and flourish, absorbing many other cities.

The Punic Wars with Rome however eventually led to the downfall of Carthage after Hannibal and his armies were eventually defeated and the Romans sacked cities including Tunis and Carthage.

Going forward Tunisia is looking to increase the number of multinationals operating in the country with Hewlett Packard and Airbus already attracted to what has been ranked Africa’s most competitive economy, which offers workers with a high level of education, close to the EU but with much lower wages.

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The medina part of the city is the most fascinating and much of the city’s suburbs are modern and built during the last century during which Tunis has grown in size and importance.

Originally a roman outpost Tozeur is a stopping off point before heading into the dessert and if you are heading into the dessert or to the other natural features nearby such as the salt lakes you may decide to base yourselves from Tozeur but you will find there is a lot to see and do in the ancient city itself.

Of course the beautiful, usually sandy, coastline is a major attraction but the interior of the country going down to the edges of the Sahara and the across to the Atlas mountains should also be explored by those with a sense of adventure and there is enough to keep history buffs transfixed for weeks.

The first thriving centres of culture in Tunisia were the Phoenician cities with Carthage founded in 814BC.

With no dominate ruler the Christian Spanish and Islamic Ottomans fought for control in the 1500s with Turkey controlling Tunisia until their power also waned and the Husseinite dynasty came to rule an independent Tunisia.

Tunisia remained independent until France came on to the scene at first controlling the nation unofficially through a series of treaties and the moving in of forces, initially to put down uprisings.

Revolution in Tunisia may have been overdue but when it came it was relatively peaceful as has been the transition to a democracy meaning that the tourism industry in the country is stronger than ever, the coverage having possibly even highlighted Tunisia to potential tourists as a beautiful and progressive nation with a long and fascinating history.

Tourism in the country is well developed and people welcoming, even in smaller towns and villages who see less visitors.

Agriculture, mining and manufacturing are all important with Sfax the country’s main industrial centre.

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