Leading Tour Operator Cancels Summer 2017 Bookings - Tunisia Live Leading Tour Operator Cancels Summer 2017 Bookings - Tunisia Live
Leading Tour Operator Cancels Summer 2017 Bookings

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Leading Tour Operator Cancels Summer 2017 Bookings

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Empty beach at Djerba. Image source: TrekEarth.com

A leading British tour operator has announced that it has cancelled all holiday bookings to Tunisia for the next year.

One of the holiday industry’s biggest brands, Thomas Cook, announced that it will not be running a holiday service to Tunisia for the Summer 2017 season. Their decision is based on continuing concerns over the safety of British and European tourists visiting the country.  Any hopes that the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office might change their advice about travel to Tunisia appears to be unfounded.

A spokesperson from Thomas Cook said “We know this will be frustrating for our customers who have been looking forward to their holiday. All customers whose bookings have been affected by this decision are being contacted to arrange an alternative holiday, or a refund if necessary.”

Tourism industry expert, Moez Kacem told Tunisia Live that the news of Thomas Cook cancelling their Summer 2017 service is a huge blow. He stated, “Thomas Cook is the biggest operator, so this is very significant as they bring 2 million tourists each year.” He added the value of business that Thomas Cook brought to Tunisia each year was £138 million in 2015. The main areas hit by this decision will be coastal towns such as Sousse, Monastir and Hammamet; once popular with British people for their sandy beaches and historic town centers.

Tourism, which previously accounted for 7% of the national economy,  has declined rapidly since the attacks on the Bardo Museum in Tunis and last summer in Sousse.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s most recent update refers to the renewal of the national state of emergency on September 19th. Their general advice is for essential travel only and they specifically advise against known areas of unrest, such as Mount Chambi in Kasserine, and the fragile border regions near Libya.

Thomas Cook added that “The safety and well-being of our customers is our first priority, and we continue to monitor travel advice and keep our customers updated.”

This article was updated at 18.20pm 7 October 2015.

  • AJ Afif Jebara

    This means that Tunisia should have since the time of Bourguiba invested more in a modern economy than its beaches and camels. Although Tunisians are generally well-educated and have proven to be able to meet the challenges all over the modern world, and even excel, Tunisia needs a seismic shift where all people have to come together, not only to combat terrorism, but to also to lift Tunisia from a third world economy. Until each Tunisian is convinced wholeheartedly that that doing one’s job properly and promptly is a civic duty for which he or she can be held strictly accountable, I am afraid the future remains bleak. I would hope that the “I love Tunisia” translates into real hard work, so that the future generations can have a better life.

  • Pansy Potter

    I am a 71 year old lady and I have made my own way to Tunisia 3 times this year and due to go again next month. I have to get a taxi from the middle of UK down to London and then fly Tunisair to Tunis. I could go via Charles De Gaulle airport where they have had bombings and it would be cheaper but I choose to take the safer route although it means longer travelling time.The Hotel I visit in Hammamet send a car for me and anyone else that chooses to go so that we are safe. The security in Tunis airport both arriving and departing is very good as is the hotel and the beach. It is patrolled by police on horseback and 4 wheel drive as it always has been for the last 10 years before any terrorist activity. We now have police on the gates of the hotel as well as the hotels own security. To be honest with you,I feel safer in Tunisia than I do in UK.
    I love the Tunisian people and when we go they are so pleased that we have made the effort to keep coming to their country. Other countries have had far more terrorist attacks and yet the UK F.C.O. allow British people to go to them.

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