Tunisia tourism continues as usual for UK agencies

Hotel News - 07/03/2011

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Despite the ongoing flood of refugees from neighbouring Libya, British travel firms are operating as normal in Tunisia. Along the border with Libya, aid agencies are struggling to cope with the more than 100,000 persons who have fled the political violence.

In Tunisia’s tourist hotspots, however, things are better than ever. UK tour company Thomas Cook is busy sending full planes of tourists from Britain. A spokesman said four flights operated on Wednesday and all were full.

Thomas Cook says feedback from travellers in Tunisia has been positive, with tourists finding a calmer atmosphere and locals who are relieved to have visitors. Thomas Cook is currently only flying into Monastir but intends to restart flights to Djerba in May.

For now, Djerba is busy handling large numbers of flights carrying large numbers of migrant workers. The small airport typically handles only about 10 charter flights per day but has been very busy handling refugees since the violence began in Libya in February.

Tunisia’s National Tourist Office said it is very happy to have tourists returning to the country. Tour companies Just Sunshine and Tunisia First have both resumed normal operations.

Anissa Ramoundi, UK & Ireland Director at Tunisia’s National Tourist Office, said people in Tunisia were optimistic about the country’s future. Locals working in and around tourist resorts are eager to get back to work and keen to ensure visitors enjoy a great time.

Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office lifted restrictions on travel to Tunisia several weeks ago but is maintaining a general warning about the threat of terrorism in Tunisia. The warning says both that there continues to be a risk of attacks and that attacks could be indiscriminate.

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