Is it safe to go to Tunisia? Travel advice as Thomas Cook resume holidays
Tunisia: Is it now safe to travel to Tunisia since the terror attack?
Tunisia was once a popular destination for British travellers to go on holiday.
However, following the 2015 Sousse terror attack which killed 38 people, 30 of which were British citizens after a gunman stormed the resort, holiday companies ceased flights and packages to the destination in light of safety fears.
Thomas Cook has since announced that the company will be resuming their flights to the country, nearly three years after the attack.
Is the destination now safe for travel? Government update and advice for British holidaymakers looking to visit the region.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirm that a state of emergency is currently in place in the country since a suicide attack on a police bus off occurred in November 2015.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirm that a state of emergency is currently in place
This has been extended multiple times, most recently in November 2017 for three months.
There are also risks from recent political protests in the area in the past month, with new warnings issued on 11 January.
The FCO advise against all travel to; the Chaambi Mountains National Park and the designated military operations zones of Mount Salloum, Mount Sammamma and Mount Mghila; the militarised zone south of the towns of El Borma and Dhehiba; within 20km of the rest of the Libya border area north of Dhehiba; and the town of Ben Guerdane and immediate surrounding area.
Tunisia attack victims remembered
Tunisia’s PM Essid and Tourism Minister Salma Loumi observe a minute’s silence in memory of those killed in a recent attack by an Islamist gunman at a beach in Sousse
Tunisia: Some parts of the country are still warned against travel
However, the warning was lowered in July 2017, when the area was considered on the no-go list for British holidays, issuing a statement last year: “The Foreign and Commonwealth Office no longer advise against travel to Tunisia, except for parts of the south and interior and certain areas near the borders with Algeria and Libya.”
The website states that since the attack, “the Tunisian government has improved protective security in major cities and tourist resorts”.
The FCO warns that terrorists are still “very likely” to carry out attacks in the country and that tourists should be vigilant at all times.
Following the lift on the ban last year, other operators including Tui reintroduced their travel packages along with Thomas Cook.
Carol MacKenzie, Group Head of Customer Welfare at Thomas Cook, explained: “The Tunisian government has worked to improve its security and the way its police and security teams can respond to terrorist incidents.
“It is this work which meant that the UK government were able to announce that they are now satisfied that British travellers can return to the country.
“As a result, and reflecting the interest we’ve had from customers, we are restarting our flight and holiday programme from 13 February next year, which is on sale from 22 August.”
Tunisia: British travellers were banned from travelling to the area following the Sousse 2015 attack
Despite warnings, British travellers still choose to travel to the destination due to the affordability of the region.
Four and five-star hotels have been found as cheap as £35 a night, meaning a much cheaper holiday.
According to TTG, the Tunisia tourist office has increased it’s British tourist estimations from 70,000 to 85,000 this year.
This is still a much lower figure that it previously welcomed, with 424,000 a year in 2014.