After another round of violent clashes in Tunisia recently, the country finds itself back in the headlines but not for the reasons they’d like. Tunisia has been struggling to get its tourism back since last year and this recent bout of clashes isn’t helping. With a nighttime curfew in place, tourism experts and tourists for that matter are concerned.
“Since the introduction of the curfew (last) Tuesday, there has been a strongly negative impact: cancellations and a huge decrease in travel bookings.”
This came from Mohamed – Ali Toumi, the President of the Tunisian Federation of Tourism (FTAV). It should still be noted though that no tourist areas have been affected during the most recent clashes which are occurring quite spontaneously only in certain neighbourhoods in large cities, not in the resorts.
Advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
While no travel restrictions are in place, the FCO does state that Tunisia is in a State of Emergency, meaning that curfews and restrictions on movements are in place. Visitors are advised to always carry their passport or other form of photo ID that proves their identity and nationality.
Most visitors on Tunisian holidays have trouble-free trips but it’s important to be aware of the current political and security situations and that political protests and road-blocks can happen unpredictably throughout the country.
Unaffected tourist areas in Tunisia:
If you’re planning a trip to Tunisia, these areas are deemed safe for foreigners to visit.
- Greater Tunis area
- Costal zone
- Island of Djerba
- Resorts in the regions of Tozeur and Kebili
As far as the southern parts of Tunisia are concerned, it is recommended to steer clear, especially near the border with Algeria and Libya.
Tourism is crucial for Tunisia
Tourism experts in Tunisia are begging the Tunisian government and police to reassure foreign governments and tour operators that it is still safe to visit Tunisia, for the sake of the country’s economy. Because even if tourism has risen since the fall of dictator-president Ben Ali, there is still concern about the country’s stability, diverting would-be tourists to safer destinations. Tunisian tourism figures speak for themselves:
- 7% of GDP
- 400,000 employed in tourism sector
- 1 out of 5 make their livelihood from tourists and tourism
Are you planning a trip to Tunisia? Have you cancelled a trip to Tunisia because of the political uprisings?