Find out more about Bob Atkinson
Should I travel to Tunisia?
Updated advice: The current state of emergency in Tunisia has now been extended until July 21, 2016. Please see the FCO site for further information.
Following the deadly Tunisian terror attack in the resort of Port El Kantaoui, near Sousse, on June 26, 2015 – as well as the earlier atrocity in Tunis on March 18, 2015 – many holidaymakers will have had their summer holidays cancelled and may be wondering whether they should still travel to this popular sunshine destination in 2016.
Current Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice warns against all but essential travel to Tunisia and the state of emergency has been extended to July 21, 2016. For the latest advice, check the FCO site.
So, what do you need to know if you’ve booked a trip to Tunisia or are planning to?
I have a package holiday booked to Tunisia in 2016. Can I change or cancel my booking?
The current advice from the FCO has been updated to extend the state of emergency status until July 21, 2016. If you are concerned about your booking for travel in July 2016 and beyond, contact your travel company or look on their site for any updates. Thomson has announced (January 21, 2016) that it will be cancelling its entire summer programme to Tunisia, with flights not set to restart until at least November 1, 2016. On January 31 it announced that it would not be selling any Thomson or First Choice holidays to the destination until the FCO advice changes.
Thomas Cook has cancelled all holidays to Tunisia up until May 24, 2017.
If you have a holiday booked to Tunisia this year, with Thomson, Thomas Cook or any other airline or tour operator, we recommend that you contact your provider directly regarding your options and the status of your booking.
I have made independent arrangements to travel to the country – do I have any rights?
If you cancel your trip you may lose money if the travel company you have booked with is not offering free cancellations on its arrangements. However, the vast majority of booking companies should be able to help.
Independent travellers with future bookings should contact their airline and hotel companies to discuss options open to them.
Can I claim for any losses from an insurer?
This will be dependent on the type of policy you have, but try to claim what you can back from your travel provider first and then work out your final losses. It’s unlikely that the cheapest policies will cover losses, while many more comprehensive policies will – but check yours to find out.
Many providers are looking at claims as a result of the situation on a case-by-case basis and, unusually, some providers such as Aviva have announced that if customers with its policies are unable to recover costs from their tour operator for cancelling a holiday to Tunisia, they will allow claims up to a certain value for this.
What if I travel to parts of Tunisia against the advice?
If you decide to visit areas the FCO advises against, your insurance cover will be invalid from all companies.
Please note: All details were correct at the time of writing.