Tunisian tourism counts the cost of terror attacks

The Tunisian tourism industry is counting the cost of Friday’s terror attack in Sousse, which left 36 holidaymakers dead, most of whom were British. 

Tunis' souk of the Medina.
Tunis’ souk of the Medina.

Once one of North Africa’s most popular tourist destinations, the industry has struggled to regain momentum lost during the Arab Spring uprising of 2011.

The impact of March’s terrorist attack in Tunis’ Bardo Museum, which left 21 mostly European tourists dead, will be compounded by Friday’s attack in Sousse, said Nadejda Popova, senior travel analyst for Euromonitor International.

“Tourism is of vital importance for Tunisia and for the period 2013-2014 international arrivals to the country recorded 4% growth,” she said. “This growth however is highly dependent on the safety and stability in Tunisia. The recent outbursts of violence represent a major threat for the country, which can escalate the political instability and security issues in this destination and ultimately keep travellers from visiting the country short- to medium-term.”

Popova believes the terrorist attacks will prolong the recovery process of the travel industry in Tunisia.

“Tour operators such as TUI, Thomson Itaka, Neckermann and Rainbow Tours have cancelled flights to the country following the events while Thomas Cook is believed to be monitoring the situation,” she said.  “That said, there is an internal commitment to boosting the industry and therefore the authorities are likely to react and do whatever is possible to avoid any further issues.”


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