Dec 1, 2016

Posted by in Destinations, Travel News, Trip Advice | 154 Comments

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Should I travel to Tunisia?

Tunisia flag

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 – the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) took the decision to warn against all but essential travel to Tunisia, and a state of emergency has been put in place until at least January 19, 2017.

For the latest advice, check the FCO site.


I have a package holiday booked to Tunisia in 2017. Can I change or cancel my booking?

The current advice from the FCO has been updated to extend the state of emergency status until January 2017. If for some reason you have a booking for travel in 2017 and beyond which you wish to change or cancel, you should contact your travel company or look on their site for updates.

Thomson announced on January 31 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 at least May 24, 2017.

Carthage


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 what options are open to them.

Djerba


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 go to areas the FCO advises against visiting, any travel insurance cover you have will no longer be valid (unless you have taken out very specific insurance).

Please note: This is an updated version of a previously-published article. All facts were correct at the time of the most recent update (December 1, 2016).

  1. And now to add insult to injury the German tourists are being offered free amendments up to April and UK customers with the same company are being charged £35 per person or have to remain in limbo http://suzyb.net/?p=565

    • Thr Germans always get looked after when anything goes wrong it happened a few years back in Egypt the got the money back we still had to go i know it was miles from tourist areas but still you never saw many germans if any for the next 2 years in Egypt

      • Bald Eagle says:

        I have been to Tunisia a yearly for over 15 years and traveled all over the country I was there 4 weeks after the spring uprising. I have always found the people very friendly. At present I would prefer to go back to Tunisia than go to the States

        • lorna says:

          i was there just before the terrible shooting in tunisia, i had no problems with people just the stupid man i married from there lol..but other then that people very friendly,

        • Stef Johansson says:

          Im a Brit and for the past fifteen years have been taking my two kids to Tunisia, Theyve flown the nest now of course, however, ld REALLY like the chance to make up my own mind re returning to the beautiful country without my nanny mentality government telling me what l can or cannot do – l dont even have the CHOICE….no planes fly there, only TunisAir and l dont want to travel TunisAir!!
          Lovely country, lovely people and beautiful weather, miss it, plus the many friends l made over the years. Thinking of ya Tunisia – with love.

          • harry says:

            Go via Paris with Air France

          • sandra leeder says:

            I couldn’t agree more. How are the people managing without tourism? There will be more recruits to isis because the country must be desperate. As soon as the restrictions are lifted we’ll be going.

      • buteur84 says:

        u r welcome in tunisia

      • nissa says:

        are there any all nclusive holidays in tunisia at the moment

        • Hi there

          FCO advice is still for no travel to Tunisia for British Nationals except in exceptional circumstances, ruling out holidays to the country. Therefore, there are no flights operating from the UK to Tunisia for all-inclusive holidays at present. Thomas Cook are selling them for departures from the 24th May next year.

          British Airways flights to Tunis remain suspended although there are daily flights with Tunisair from London Heathrow to Tunis. Hotels are open for business.

          Whilst the FCO advice remains in force if you were to travel to Tunis or any other airport and into the country you would not have any travel insurance cover and the FCO would not offer you any assistance should you run into any problems whilst in the country.

          Kind regards

          Bob

          • hello bob will be traveling to tunisia in 2017 and im american traveling alone .. never been out of usa is it safe to travel there

          • Hi Jeanie,

            Jumping in for Bob here as he is unavailable.

            The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently advises British citizens against all but essential travel to Tunisia.

            As a US citizen, however, you should follow your own country’s travel advice: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/tunisia.html – paying particular notice to the information under the ‘Safety and Security’ dropdown.

            The US Embassy in Tunisia released the following security statement on August 11, 2016: http://tunisia.usembassy.gov/security-message-for-u7.s.-citizens-08112016.html

            There have been no major terror attacks in Tunisia since those in Sousse in June 2015, although according to the FCO the threat level remains high.

            I have no doubt that you will be made welcome by the majority of Tunisian people, but unfortunately it’s not possible for me or anyone else to give you a safety guarantee – you are also not travelling until 2017, at which point the whole situation may have changed. Foreign women travelling alone should be aware that they may be stared at and receive unwanted attention, which can be persistent and annoying – Western women can reduce this attention by wearing clothing which minimise the amount of bare skin on show.

            Thanks,
            Tom

    • massy says:

      hi there
      I would travel to tunisia it is a great place to go to especially port alkantaoui is the best place in the whole of tunisia
      the place is safe and you will enjoy it. I go there 4 times a year And I love it. There is extra security in place so nothing to worry about
      have fun

      • Hi Massy

        Thanks for your comment.

        Unfortunately, British Nationals have a travel advice in place at the moment from the British Government advising against all but essential travel to Tunisia. Until that advice is lifted flights and holidays from the UK market will not start up and anyone traveling to the country cannot get travel insurance.

        Let’s hope the problems can be resolved soon and business can return to normal for Tunisia’s tourist trade.

        Kind regards

        Bob

        • We have been 10 times to Tunisia
          5 times port rl Kantoui
          NEVER EVER AGAIN
          the trouble in 2015 in tunisia
          involved port el Kantoui
          if you go AGAIN good luck

          • Yes I have been going for18 years, sometimes 4 times a year, we have been on that part of the beach many times, I would be very reluctant to go back to Tunisia even though I love it so much. I have many Tunisian friends, but the threat of danger is very real, I hate to say this, but stay away,

          • buteur84 says:

            u r welcome in tunisia

          • Marilyn King says:

            Just been on holiday there for three weeks no
            Trouble at all
            I go ever year three times year I have still been
            Going by Tunisair
            Everyone is happy to see English people

        • its a crying shame this has happened,really feel for the people of the resorts as its their livelyhood,really enjoyed our holiday last year and would go again this yr if possible,Hope it gets resolved soon

        • maggiee says:

          May you tell me something about the night life in sousse ?

        • Philipa.watkins says:

          Comment

        • maria says:

          this is political reason the Tunisian gas is taking by British gas after revolution which happened in Tunisia people started to ask about gas selling to UK for dollars cheap simply uk is ripping off the tunisian gas sell for more for british people so they started to threat uk so what uk did killed British used ISIS in order to stop industry until Tunsia go under uk agreement with gas so the rest you can figure yourself if you are able to think for yourself not government does for you

      • Ann Hillyard says:

        I cannot understand why holidays to Tunisia have
        been cancelled and Turkey holidays have not Sharm el Sheik also had their holidays cancelled but you can visit the rest of the country. I am so dissapointed i love the people of Tunisia and i will certainly miss my holidays there,

        • Lynne says:

          I,m like you I can’t understand why restrictions have not been lifted we are adults we can make up our own minds .
          It annoys me I listened to an add on the radio just now saying ……VISIT PARIS THE MOST ROMANTIC CITY IN THE WORLD 3 FLIGHTS A DAY FROM MY LOCAL AIRPORT has everyone forgotten November last year …why the double standards ????

          • Lucille Sage says:

            I’ve made a very good friend over (female & im not gay) over the Internet. I very well travelled and have worked and enjoyed holidays and the people of many ‘unstable’ countries over the the last 45 years,I’m 60 yrs now. It’s always just a few people making these troubles,I’ve:-when I 1st started working (now this shows just how old I am) it was advised not to work in Ireland,because the Catholics had disagreements with English Prodestants, but as always,I took no notice and yes the Army were on the streets with their guns. No one is going to tell were to visit,if one takes notice of this nonsense,then what is life? One wouldn’t step out of their front door!!

          • Valerie Brooks says:

            I have a friend who is married to. Tunisian man ( lovely family ) my friend is there at the moment she has visited about 6 times in the last few months , she says she feel quite safe but they do not go out at night , My friend books direst flights from Gatwick with Tunisair , I have done the same to travel on the 18 the of this month but am feeling worried because I am in my sixties and can’t get insurance , so it looks like I will lose the monies I already paid ,

          • Molka says:

            I’m tunisian too , i’m 13 and i’m a student living in tunis , life in tunisia is very secure (really) especially after the latest attack , there’s army in every place of the country and they sometimes stop our car (when we’re visiting another government like jerba or Monastir) to scan it and there are always those scanners in markets and malls , it’s true we don’t go out without a man with us at night but that’s normal if you consider that our country faced a revolution since 5 years and now it’s getting better and more secure so there’s no rason to worry when you visit it because even us , the tunisian citizens are going to hotels and public places and we never faced a problem :)

          • Anonymous says:

            I don’t have British passport but live in the UK. We went Tunis with my friend (2 girls) for a long weekend 2 weeks ago and were very secure, there was no trouble at all and no one bothered us.

          • Jamiel slaney-summers says:

            Valerie Brooks your credit card covers the insurance

          • Jamiel/Valerie

            Please be aware that credit card payment does NOT give you travel insurance for a trip to Tunisia for either business or leisure. it only covers you for the transaction itself. All travel insurance products are currently null and void for Tunisia where they state in the t’s and c’s that FCO advice should be adhered to. Currently it is for no travel to Tunisia except in exceptional circumstances.

            Kind regards

            Bob

  2. It’s intersting how different companies apply their policies across different territories.

    It could be due to different advice from the German government to that from the UK’s Foreign Office, however it makes it tougher on UK travellers wanting to amend so far out.

    Which company are you referring to?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have a package holiday booked to Egypt travelling on 4 February 2011. Can I change or cancel my booking?

    • Hi

      You need to check with the tour operator, airline or travel agent you hve booked with. It will depend who you are travelling with and their policy as well as where you are travelling to as to whether you can change or amend your booking free of charge or whether normal booking conditions will apply.

      In general all travel to the Red Sea resorts is continuing as normal, however for travel to Cairo, Luxor, Alexandria and Suez, booking companies are allowing flexibility.

      Each company has their own policy, however contact them as soon as possible.

      Bob

  4. Manohar says:

    I have a package holiday booked to Tunisia travelling in the next few days. Can I change or cancel my booking?

    • Hi

      This will depend on what you have booked and who with.

      Major package tour operators such as Thomson and Thomas Cook have cancelled all departures until the end of February.

      Airlines have different policies depending on when and how you bought your ticket and when you are travelling.

      Again, contact your tour operator, airline or travel agent for the latest advice on your personal plans.

      Bob

  5. pamela hart says:

    could you please inform me if you think it is safe to still go to tunisia, we are travelling in july with our 2 young grandchildren and i dont want them to feel unsafe with all the trouble that is going on in libya and a lot of the libyans are moving into tunisia also we have to pay for the remainder of the holiday at the begining of may i have spoken to the travel company who booked this holiday for us but they said thomas cook was still allowing people to travel could you please help us and give your honest opinion as to what we should do thank you

    • Hi Pamela

      This really does have to be a personal decision on current advice.

      As the FCO is not advising against travel to Tunisia and is only really advising general caution at present, then the tour operators and airlines will continue to operate due to the investment they have in the entire holiday operation in the country.

      If you choose to cancel you would be losing your deposit at this stage, this applies up to 70 days prior to trvelling with a Thomas Cook package. The amount you lose then escalates the closer to the departure date. The company would only allow free cancellations should the FCO advice change and as we have already seen earlier this year, events can change dramatically in a only a few days.

      The Libyan situation is difficult to read in terms of the effects it will have on neighbouring countries such as Tunisia and the tour operators will be watching the situation closely in the coming days. However most nationals (who were not Libyan) who crossed into Tunisia are now generally back home after an airlift to take them out, so it would only be Libyans themsleves. The main Tunisian resorts are far from the borders (except for Djerba)so in the main you are well away from that area.

      I was due to travel to Morocco at the end of April, however my travelling companion has decided that they no longer want to travel due to the general feeling of unrest in North Africa, so I am now forced to go alone and they are losing their money. I feel secure that I can travel safely and that if anything should happen the FCO and my tour operator will look after me under the ATOL guidelines – something that Thomas Cook have an excellent record of doing.

      The Tunisians really do want to get people back on holiday and I am sure you will be welcomed and looked after by them, however this does have to be your decision and whilst this would not worry me personally, I cannot speak for everyone.

      Hope that this helps in some way.

      Bob

    • julie says:

      hello pamela

      i have been reading the posts on here as. like you, we have now booked to go to Djerba, Tunisia. I was just wondering if you are going ahead with your Tunisia holiday or if you have changed your mind?

      julie

  6. Aaron Ludlow says:

    hi. i am flying to tunisia on 10th july but have recieved a phone call from a friend saying that he has heard over 150,000 flights have been cancelled to the country. do you know if this is true or not? if so what action can i take to getting my money back, if any? thanks

  7. Hi Aaron

    The first thing that you should do is contact your flight company, travel agent or airline to enquire whehter your flight is affected. Some tour operators have withdrawn their program for this summer while others are continuing to opeate as normal, so there have been flights cancelled.

    This is due to a sharp drop in demand following the political problems of January and February of this year. However the resorts are all open for business and the FCO has deemed it safe to travel to the country once again, although you should exert caution in areas where there are crowds and demonstrations. Fairly normal advice for many other countries to be fair.

    Once you know the position for your own flight you can then decide what you wish to do. If the flight is actually going ahead it is unlikely you will be able to get anything back on the trip as it will be treated as a normal cancellation. If it has been cancelled you will be offered either a refund or alternatives.

    Please let us know how you go on.

    Regards

    Bob

  8. julie says:

    hi there

    I was just wondering what your opinion is on taking a holiday in Djerba in July 2011 given the situations which have taken place in Tunisia and Libya. I feel more concerned about the Libyan aspect. The prices are so low at the moment it seems like an opportunity not to miss but they always say ‘If it seems too good to be true, it probably is’. I would hate to put my family in danger.

    • Hi Julie

      Apologies for the delay in replying.

      I would have no problems personally in travelling to Tunisia on a holiday at the moment. However it is a personal decision that you must make and some people will have a variety of reasons why they would not go.

      Many tour operators have resumed operations to the country and new flights to Djerba are operating to this stunning island.

      The FCO advice as I write is that it is safe to travel to the country, however you must not travel within 40km of the Libyan border. Djerba is further away than this and is a holiday destination as opposed to a major town or settlement. For the latest info use this link as it can change. http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/middle-east-north-africa/tunisia

      I would travel with a major tour operator such as Thomas Cook who have an excellent reputation should anything happen while you were away and the situation should change. If they felt it was not safe or the FCO asked them to stop operating you would receive first class help and assistance.

      The Tunisians are desperate for holidaymakers to return as their livelihoods depend so much on us and you will get a warm welcome, plus have the chance to buy a bargain price break.

      Do bear in mind that in July it will be very hot with temperatures 90+, so be aware of that when making your decision. However you can enjoy unspoilt beaches of golden sand and lovely warm seas.

      Whatever you do, i hhope you have a good break.

      • julie says:

        Thank you for your reply. We are actually looking at a holiday through Thomson/First Choice. Is their reputation of sorting out any problems that may possibly occur in Tunisia as good as Thomas Cook would you say?

        Julie

        • Hi Julie

          Thomson/First Choice are superb in these kind of situations. They are the market leader in the UK for package holidays and you will have no problems at all with them.

          Have a great trip.

          Bob

          • david fraser says:

            going to mahdia tunisia is it safe hoe many miles to libia

          • Hi David

            Mahdia is deemed to be within a safe area of Tunisia for travellers as per the current advice on the FCO Travel Advice website;

            https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tunisia

            You are a significant distance from the border with Libya being around 250 miles away and nearly 200 miles from Algeria, so no need to be concerned around that.

            Hope you have a great trip.

            Kind regards

            Bob

  9. Cheryl Clarke says:

    Hi i am travelling to Djerba in 2 weeks and i am really concerned about all the unrest in Libya. I have spoken to Thomas Cook and they have confirmed this is not affecting Tunisia. Do you think i should cancel?

    • Bob Atkinson says:

      Hi Cheryl

      As things stand today it is a matter of personal choice if you wish to cancel your holiday. If you did you would face cancellation charges of up to 100% which you cannot claim for under travel insurance cancellation procedures.

      The FCO advice is that it is safe to travel at present and if this advice should change, Thomas Cook would immediately cancel all trips and bring people home already in resort. They are very responsible when it comes to customer safety.

      The island of Djerba is off the cosast of Tunisia towards the eastern border with Libya. When the troubles started earlier this year Libyans crossed the border into Tunisia, however in recent days Libyans have benn returning from their refugee camps as they sense that things are changing at home in their favour.

      My gut is that you will be able to holiday with no problem at all and I would be prepared to carry on with no concerns.

      Keep and eye on the FCO travel advice for Tunisia and in touch with the news and your tour operator.

      I am sure you will have a great break, the Tunisians are desperate for business and will be very welcoming.

      Enjoy

      Bob

  10. susan frank says:

    can you please tell me can I book a holiday in tunsia will I be safe in sep 2012

  11. hi,
    would it be safe to travel in may do you think as i have a holiday booked for then.

  12. hi,
    would it be safe to travel in may do you think as i have a holiday booked for then. we are going to hammement and we just want to be safe when we travel.
    thanks lee

  13. Hi would it be safe to travel to tunisia,sousse in april as i have a holiday booked for then with thomas cook. Thanks from lippy

    • Hi there lippy

      The beach resorts are far away from the capital Tunis where the events of this week took place. There are no specific comments on the FCO Travel Advice for Tunisia https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tunisia about Sousse or the immediate area and so only the general information for the country should be observed.

      In my experience the beach reosrts are perfectly safe for a holidaya dn as a responsible travel operator Thomas Cook will work using the FCO advice as their base guidance for holidays continuing.

      I’m sure that as the situation stands today you will have a fantastic holiday there and the locals will welcome you to their wonderful country.

      Have a great trip.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  14. Jennifer Geraty says:

    Hi
    my daughter is due to travel to hammamet on 5th Apri she is 8years old and travelling with her auntie and uncle, Thomas Cook will not change the holiday is it safe for her to go.

    Many thanks

    jennifer

    • Hi there

      The beach resorts are miles away from the events in Tunis of last week. The FCO Travel advice site for Tunisia carries no warnings for Tunisia for the resorts;

      https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tunisia

      As the situation stands today Thomas Cook are correct in that they will netiher change or cancel the holiday without applying the normal fees as per the booking conditions. This situation would only change if the FCO started saying that travel to these areas was not advisable.

      In my experience your daughter will enjoy a safe and wonderful holiday in Tunisia. The locals who rely on this industry are very welcoming and are very appreciative of us visiting their country for our breaks.

      I am sure that unless the situation changes otherwise you can rest easy and they can enjoy their break.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  15. Rob Parker says:

    I aM a British citizen and have lived in Tunisia for the last 5 years and I have no safety worries at all. We travel to Hammamet and Tunis regularly and feel safer there than in some cities in the UK.

    • Thanks for the comment Rob.

      Bob

      • Gary Hesslewood says:

        There you go then it all depends on where you go.

        • Katrina says:

          Really sad who would have thought, Port el Kantaoui would have been targeted. Have friends who are booked for a month before Christmas and have not a clue whether they are going or not. Suppose it can happen anywhere. No doubt, other tourists (from other countries), not involved in the shooting in June 2015, will still visit unless advised otherwise. So miss that lovely country, people,countryside, food. Too many crazy people about.Good luck Tunisia.

          • Hi Katriana

            It is very sad and those who work there are seriously affected.

            Currently travel is still off limits and the major tour operators have cancelled all operations until February and March of next year. If your friends have not already done so I wold advise them to check with their travel provider to see if their trip is still going ahead.

            Kind regards

            Bob

  16. Alice says:

    Hi, I was reading your blog because my boyfriend and I booked to go to Djerba in August (before the attack in Tunis happened) and now I am worried if it will really be safe or not, due to the proximity to the border with Libya and the potential Isis presence within the border area. Do you have any advise or thoughts on this?

  17. Jaggy Thistle says:

    Due to go to Djerba in July to visit all the Star Wars destinations – are these safe and is Djerba safe? Worried as it’s considerably closer to Libya than the mainland tourist resorts.
    Thanks

    • Hi there

      The advice we always go by is the FCO Travel Advice for Tunisia; https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tunisia

      Currently Djerba has no problems with visiting as a tourist, however some areas of the country are deemed off limits to tourists and these include some of the locations used for filming such as Tozeur. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Star_Wars_filming_locations

      Any organised trip to see locations should be fine, especially if organised by a British Tour operator, howevr do approach such as trip with caution to ensure the places you are going to are approved within the FCO guidelines otherwise your travel insurance will be voided.

      Kind regards

      Bob

      • Jaggy Thistle says:

        Thank you, I’m thinking of just staying in the hotel and not venturing out – better safe than sorry.
        It’s such a shame these are now in a no go area as it’s a beautiful country and we wanted to share Tatooine with our children before its swallowed by the desert – maybe in the future then :(

        • Hi

          Do check when you get there and ensure you also take note of the FCo travel advice. The beach resort areas and some of the locations near to the beach reosrts are fine, some are off limits according to the FCO. You may still be able to do some excursions.

          Have a great break.

          Bob

  18. Gary Hesslewood says:

    Hi there, I would like to know when I will be told if I can’t go onto my hoilday in Tunisia Next week if I can’t will I not get a full refund? It’s not really fair if that was the case some people don’t have much money. Hoildays are very pricey and some other countries are offering diffrent deals so why is this one diffrent? I mean of course I don’t want to risk my life out there no hoilday is worth that. Hope to hear from you soon as possible with recent news and updates. Thanks Gary

  19. Sandra Auker says:

    Im traveling to hamamet on the 17 of july 2015 with thomas cook theres 3 adults & 3 children. I really dont want to go would i be able to cancel & have a holiday somewhere else

    • Hi Sandra

      I have checked the Thomas Cook website and at this stage they are offering to amend your booking to Tunisia free of charge, although any difference in holiday cost would be paid by you.

      http://www.thomascook.com/travel-updates/#Tunisia Incident

      May advice is to contact Thomas Cook and explore your options with them as soon as possible. Either visit a Thomas Cook shop or contact 01733 224536. The lines will probably be very busy so you may need to be patient in speaking to them.

      Hope that this helps.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  20. Are you MAD? Have you not been watching the news the week.

    Tunisia and Egypt have overthrown their dictators and ISIS are running amok. I wouldn’t wanna risk visiting them just now.

    Honestly if you wanna go on holiday go anywhere except North Africa. If you must visit the med wait till it hots up a bit and try Spain or Italy or something.

  21. Was in Sousse 21/6/15 for fornights holiday , returned under advise from tour operator sat 27/6 shipped out from hotel with only 20 mins notice told further attacks where possible.

    Travel Insurance doesnt cover terrorism and been told Jet2 won’t pay any compensation for 10 days holiday missed.

    If you still to go on holiday you have rights if you where there during attacks and lived thro the chaos you have none ??????

    Doesnt seem right ????

    • Hi Paul

      I am glad you are home safe, it must have been a very worrying time for you.

      Jet2’s booking conditions do exclude these kinds of events as being outside of their control from compensation, however I would be tempted to write into them with an account of what happened and making a reasonable request for your situation to be considered. You can find out how to do that on this page;

      http://www.jet2holidays.com/essential-holiday-information#essential7

      I assume that you were given the choice to stay or to return early rather than to continue in resort for the full holiday you have booked. I do recognise you may have had to make that decision very quickly which is not easy to do.

      You should also contact your travel insurer to see if you can make a claim under a clause such as holiday abandonment or curtailment. You should do this within 28 days of returning to the UK and some policies will indeed pay out for your lost holiday.

      Let me know how you go on.

      Kind regards

      Bob

      • Hi Bob,

        Thanks for your advice Jet2 has kindly offered me some holiday vouchers :-).

        Cheers Paul

  22. Helen says:

    Due to fly to Djerba end of July wondered how it has been affected by the terrible tragedy

    • Hi Helen

      Djerba is an island towards the south of the country and is well away from Sousse, the area affected last Friday.

      The FCO travel advice does not mention Djerba at all as an area with any issues, therefore you should just be aware of the general advice for Tunisia which you can find here;

      https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tunisia

      Do keep an eye on the news and the FCO site for updates before you travel.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  23. Sarah says:

    Hi,
    I am suppose to be travelling to Tunisia on the 22nd July and staying in Sousse. When I have contacted my travel agents about the tragic event that happened on friday, they have advised me that Tunisia could possibly be one of the safest places to go now due to increasing security. Is this true?
    We are a family of four and although events like this could happen anywhere, we would rather be safe than sorry. What are your thoughts? We are looking to go to Spain if we change our holiday, however they are also high risk.

    Thanks,
    Sarah

    • Hi Sarah

      I do understand how you can feel and it must be very worrying for you and your family.

      The only advice we can go on is the FCO travel advice and that from people who have been out there. The media reports do tend to sensationalise any situation like this and so it can be easy to get a warped view of the situation.

      The FCO travel advice for Tunisia is here;

      https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tunisia

      and is updated regularly.

      It is a very personal decision whether to go anywhere in the world. I have the viewpoint of being adventurous and outgoing in my travel experiences and I would not personally be worried about travelling to Tunisia, Greece or Spain at the moment. I ensure I am informed as to the current situation in any country, I always have a good travel insurance policy and I keep in touch with the news. I have travelled to Madrid only this last weekend which was the site of bomb explosions a number of years back, regularly travel to London, was in New York recently and Sydney, all of which have had serious terrorist attacks. I am off to Paris soon too.

      Currently I understand you will have to pay any difference in holiday cost and if changing the holiday makes you feel more comfortable then you should do that. However I do know that the Tunisians have added a seriously large amount of security to the area and the locals are incredibly welcoming of tourists, an industry they rely on for their livelihood.

      I hope my reply has helped you in some way.

      Kind regards

      Bob

      • Sarah says:

        Hi Bob,
        Thanks your fast reply! We have discussed it as a family and have decided that we are going to go to Tunisia.
        Thanks for your advise and help with this.

        Best wishes,

        Sarah

  24. I think it’s pretty clear that whoever want’s to spend vacations on a Islamic country is playing Russian roulette.
    Its not guaranteed that something will happen but the risk is high.
    It’s up each one of us to analyse the risk and decide upon that. If I had family traveling with me, I would never, ever risk it. By myself, probably, it would depend on the destination.
    Like Thailand, Tunisia is going to be blacklisted for many tourists since there are other cheap and much more safer places to spend holidays like Spain, Greece, Portugal, Croatia, France,… take a pick.

  25. Robert says:

    Considering the number of countries in the world, it seems crazy to intentionally go to countries where there is a higher than usual chance of attacks, especially for those with families. We’ve see enough of the horrors on the news, I can’t see ‘any’ justification for putting you or you family at heightened risk

    I don’t think just repeating check the FCO travel advice is enough either, by the nature of the beast attacks happen where you aren’t expecting them not just areas on the radar

    • Carol C says:

      I totally agree with your comments – I feel exactly the same way, it’s sheer madness to even consider it.

  26. Carol C says:

    I’m sorry, I do not have a question about travelling to Tunisia, but feel that this has to be said – I really cannot believe that anyone is even asking for advice about the risk of travelling to a country where such atrocities have happened. There are wars, there are terrorists with their own agendas and beliefs and this will not stop !! What has happened just goes to prove that you are simply NOT safe – no matter what is said about keeping away from certain areas !! Why on earth would anyone want to holiday in a place where acts of Terrorism have shaken the world and taken innocent lives – it is insane to even consider it – why would you deliberately put yourselves in danger and risk becoming ‘bait’ or ‘terrorist fodder’ ??? I know that local people need the holiday business to support themselves and their families and I do sympathise with their plight,but please consider the danger to yourselves and your loved ones before heading out to any country which has so much political unrest.

    • We didn’t stop using the tube after 7/7. Did people stop visiting London? Did people stop visiting New York? You have more chance of being a victim of terrorism in this country than you do in Tunisia. By avoiding these countries and putting people out of work you are driving them towards the extremist groups.

      We should be supporting these countries not avoiding them.

  27. Nathalie says:

    I agree with Robert.
    I mean, think about it. There have been 3 attacks targeted at tourists since 1 year in Tunisia( one was a suicidal bombing that failed).

    In London it happened once 10 years ago. In France, they targeted Jewish people and the cartoonist who made fun of their prophet Mohammed. In Tunisia, they want tourists.

    The motives of these attacks are all different. ISIS is clearly sending a message out that they are targeting tourists in Tunisia. So I don’t know what else you need to be convinced that it’s not safe to go there?

    We need to check FCO advice? Did FCO advise us not to go to Tunisian beaches after the suicidal bombing in Sousse or the attack at Bardo museum?

    FCO is advising us to be extremely vigilant if we go to Tunisia. Who wants to be vigilant on a sun longer??

  28. Robert shirt says:

    I am due to go to sousse in Aug do you think it’s safe to go been before and enjoyed it but due to the circumstances very nervous what advice have you

    • HI Robert

      If you read some of the posts that have been put up on here by people including myself you will find differing views on whether it is safe or not. We have to refer to FCPO Travel Advice here;

      https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tunisia

      You will need to make your own decision on whether to travel based on the evidence and what your tour operator is offering you in terms of changes and cancellations. Personally I would be happy to travel there even with the recent problems, especially if I was going for a hotel based break, however I would always be keeping an eye on the news and advice as it develops. I have to say I am prepared to travel to all sorts of places that many would not, however that is my own personal decision.

      Its a difficult one, however you should do what fits your own feelings and views here in light of the current advice which is that it is safe to travel but you must remain vigilant.

      Kind regards

      Bob

      • bildaberger says:

        Hmmmm..
        What do you mean by vigilant?
        I can only guess,
        Stay in the hotel room,get food and drink delivered and if you must venture out then wear a bullit proof vest.
        some holiday!!
        are you sane!

  29. janice says:

    I wish the government would hurry up and lift the ban as the terrorists are winning everyday they are stopping us from going to Tunisia !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    when 7/7 happened here all countries still came here shouldn’t it be up to us if we want to travel?????????????????

    • Totally agree. French and Germans have the same picture and info we have but they are still there and they both along with the UK agreed not to act unilaterally regarding FCO advice etc. Believe it was done with good intentions (apart from the timing over people really looking at the budget) No further info from FCO and don’t really expect any until September or October. I will be going over in Sept as essential travel, but would go for holiday as well.

    • I agree Janice. The FCO should lift their ban and allow those people to make their own choices.

  30. Hello, I’m travelling with my boyfriend to Tunis the capital in September. I was hoping that by then the Gov would have changed the advice against all travel, but it hasn’t.

    I am not worried at all for myself as I’m an arab and can blend in and I know Tunisian are very kind (been there in 2012), and I believe this stuff can happen anywhere unexpectedly. however I’m worried for my boyfriend who is a white british and might stand out.

    I would like to hear from anyone who’s been there recently, how is the atmosphere in general? are there other white tourists around or does the place look empty of tourists?

    • Hi there Sima

      Please remember that you if either of you are British nationals you will not be able to obtain travel insurance to cover you if the FCO ban is still in place. Additionally if you run into any trouble you would not get consular assistance in the same manner as would be normally expected. You are genuinely ‘on your own’ and travelling against the advice of the British Government along with several other European nations. Obviously the final decision is your own.

      Kind regards

      Bob

      • I left Tunisia after 3 years beginning of September and there are tourist there just not Brits. The streets were getting extremely quiet and a lot of locals are now out of work so times are hard. My home is there so with or without the FCO lifting the advice I will be heading back in November and you can get travel insurance which is valid. Enjoy your stay and don’t let the terrorist win.

        • Hi Jill

          Can you advise which travel insurance you can get for a visit to Tunisia for leisure purposes? Most policies state clearly that if a country has an FCO travel advice stating no travel then it invalidates the insurance.

          Kind regards

          Bob

  31. pixiedust says:

    Hi, we booked a holiday to Tunisia which had to be changed unfortunately. We went into Thomas Cook and although they did offer us an alternative, it wasn’t anything like what we had booked. We booked a hotel with an aquapark in Tunisia and the alternatives offered did not have. In the end we decided on a hotel in Turkey because it had an aquapark but it cost us an extra £600 per family (there were two families travelling including 4 children hence the aquapark). We did not want to cancel as it was our children’s first ever holiday abroad and one that we had looked forward to for a long time. Can we claim for the extra £600 given that we were not offered a like for like? Many thanks

    • Hi there

      Sorry to learn your planned holiday to Tunisia was affected.

      However the terms and conditions of your holiday would have allowed for a full refund or for a free change (no admin fee) to another holiday and then either paying the price difference for a more expensive break or getting a refund of the holiday was cheaper. There is no option to claim back any additional costs as these were your choice of option. Therefore you cannot make a claim on insurance or to Thomas Cook for the difference.

      I don’t know if you have travelled yet, however I do hope that you were still able to enjoy it.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  32. William Tromans says:

    My husband and I had our holiday in Tunisia cancelled this year but would love to go in 2016 do you think it would be safe we are in our early 70

    • Hi there

      The main tour operators are selling holidays for 2016 to Tunisia in the hope that the FCO will relax the ban on travel ahead of the first departures at the end of February next year.

      Obviously we cannot tell you whether it will be safe or not as that is beyond our powers, however the FCO will not change the advice unless they believe it safe for tourists to return to the country. If you go ahead and book an ATOL backed trip now and the holiday cannot go ahead you will either receive a full refund or the opportunity to change to another destination subject to any difference in holiday costs.

      We will have to wait and see what happens between now and then, however you cannot lose out financially.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  33. IS TUNISA SAFE TO GO TO IN OCTOBER 2015

    • Hi Katie

      There has been no change to the travel advice by the FCO, see below for the full details.

      https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tunisia

      Tour operators and airlines have not resumed flying yet although they are planning to from February 2016 pending the FCO lifting restrictions. There are very few tourists in Tunisia at the moment from any European countries and you would need to remember that travel insurance is not valid whilst the FCO restrictions are still in place.

      Hope that helps.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  34. Anonymous says:

    I now live in tunisia anhave no problem with going out and about tunisia is safer than walking the seets of the uk

  35. Hi Bob,

    We have an AI holiday booked with lowcostholidays to Tunisia for mid December 2015. Incidentally, it was booked two days prior to the massacre in Souse.

    Speaking to a customer service rep, they said that as far as they’re concerned flights/holidays should resume by then, going on to explain that FCO advice hasn’t outlined otherwise, so a refund isn’t currently possible and amending the booking now will come with additional charges (high).

    This seems to conflict with the FCO lifting restriction of February 2016 you’ve outlined above?! Could you help to clarify things in this repect and help outline our rights/position here please?

    Thanks in advance,

    Peps

  36. wael beji says:

    No worries about travelling to tunisia . it’s much more Safe than any other south-african countries , besides i support tunisia to across those crisis , #je_suis_tunisien , #long_live_tunisia

  37. Terri says:

    I have a holiday booked to Tunisia departing May 1st, booked 3 days before the summer attacks. The FCO advise states no travel until further notice, the Tunis State of emergency is valid until Feb but the First Choice restrictions are only until April 30th.
    Although they will let us amend and have offered to waive the £50 pp fee, we cannot cancel yet as the departure date is after their limit. We desperately need our £400 deposit back in order to book something else.
    Balance of our holiday is due on Feb 7th are we actually going to have to pay the full balance when it’s due so that we get the refund of our deposit?
    At what point might First choice decide that May travel will not happen, they think they will be travelling in March at the moment. Can they really expect us to pay the balance of a holiday that at the time of the payment it cannot be taken?
    Any suggestions welcomed!

    • Hi there Terri

      This is certainly a difficult position to be in.

      Currently no UK tour operating is flying into Tunisia following the attack on tourists last summer. However many do have programs on sale for the next summer season in the hope or expectation that the FCO will lift the current ban. There is no guarantee of this at all and so when it comes to the time to pay your balance, if the ban has not yet been lifted I would be inclined to refuse to pay the balance and to ask for a refund or transfer to a different holiday. We have the same situation in place for holidays to Sharm el Sheikh where the FCO is stating no flying by British Nationals into the area. Hence companies like First Choice are constantly changing their advice on a rolling basis for departures. Currently they have cancelled all departures up to the 23rd March. On the 28th December, First Choice cancelled all holiday travelling to Tunisia until the 30th April 2016, the day before you are due to fly.

      http://www.thomson.co.uk/destinations/travel-information

      I note that First Choice are offering you an amendment to your holiday with no admin fee. I assume this means you could book a different destination with them, which would mean you would not need your deposit back. You would though be required to pay and additional holiday cost. First Choice is part of the TUI group. have you asked if you can transfer to any other TUI holiday from Thomson or Skytours, the sister brands? that would give you more choice.

      Get back on the phone to them and ask for other alternative destinations that would suit you or a transfer to a later date. it is unlikely they will give you a refund at this point though.

      Hope that this helps.

      Kind regards

      Bob

      • Terri says:

        Thanks for the response, all in, yes it’s exactly as you understand. They are offering a change with no admin fee as a gesture of good will, in all honesty we have looked and looked and there is nothing that we can afford on the same basis as Tunisia was. We could do two weeks in Spain but then we’d have all our food etc to pay for making it unaffordable. Egypt was possible at a bit of a stretch in budget but now that isn’t possible either!
        The only option we can think is to get our deposit back and book a Eurocamp as we have done for the last few years. Tunisia was all inclusive in a waterpark for the kids, we just cannot match it for the money. I’m inclined to think I need to hold out for the cancellation, if we move to another holiday we’d get no cancellation.
        I just don’t know where we stand with holding back on payment though as the confirmation says that they’ll just take payment from the card on the due date. I suppose I could cancel the card but then am I breaking my end of the agreement and they don’t have to refund me at all?

        • Hi Terri

          Have you spoken to them at all about holding your balance payment back? if you cancel the payment with them you may incur some kind of admin fee for non-payment so its worth checking with them again.

          Another option could be Bulgaria as it is good value for money, just check the weather. Another opti0on could be Morocco, Agadir or Marrakech.

          Spain is a lot cheaper than you may think for food and drink at the moment and due to the value of the Euro and the weak domestic holiday market. You can holiday quite cheaply there at the moment, so don’t discount it completely.

          Tunisia and Egypt both offered really excellent value for money, so with holidays being seriously restricted to those places, there is less choice for a value break on offer now.

          Kind regards

          Bob

  38. andrew says:

    to be honest we all know that the uk goverment advice on tunisa is not going to change for a very long time with the ongoing problems tunisa unlike other countrys has all sorts of problems with borders to other problem area as many time as we have been to tunisa and had nice time and good cheap holidays it has run its day for a long day i and many of my friends feels better then to book somewhere for at least next 12 months

  39. Anonymous says:

    Hi bob eating

  40. jackie says:

    have a holiday booked 18 May to Tunisia for 1 week. I also have to pay balance next month I don’t think I will be going but will wait and see what FCO say and if unable to go will await a refund.

    • Hi Jackie

      Don’t make any decision until you are forced to due to the balance being due. I would expect the FCO to review their current decision fairly soon ahead of the Easter travel period, which is only nine weeks away.

      Kind regards

      Bob

      • jackie says:

        Thanks Bob.

      • jackie says:

        Thomson have stopped all flights until October 31st 16 so have other Companies just Thomas Cook dragging their heels as usual.

        • Hi Jackie

          Thomson announced this change today and we have updated our article. I would not be surprised if Thomas Cook follow suit within a very short space of time. In the past we have seen TC go first and Thomson follow.

          Fingers crossed they will now do the same and you can get resolved.

          Kind regards

          Bob

          • jackie says:

            Hi Bob,

            Booked with Thomson for Tunisia 18 Feb 2017 have paid deposit but they still insist we are going but no other Tour Operator is. I really miss Tunisia but I think this will be another refund.

          • Hi Jackie

            Its a long time yet until they will finalise the flying plans for early 2017. If the FCO lifts the ban, the flights recommence and your holiday goes ahead.

            Fingers crossed that the situation can improve enough for holidays to be able to continue as once before.

            Kind regards

            Bob

          • jackie says:

            Thanks Bob,
            Will wait and see again.

          • jackie says:

            Hi Bob,
            have been told by Thomson its a no. So have had a refund of deposit.

            Feel so sad for all the Tunisian’s who rely on us. Hopefully 2017 we will be able to go.

          • Hi Jackie,

            Just jumping in for Bob here as he’s away at the moment.

            That’s a shame – Tunisia is a beautiful country and as you say it’s a great shame for the normal Tunisians who rely on tourism for their livelihoods.

            Let’s hope the situation changes soon!

            Thanks,
            Tom

  41. cheryl says:

    Hi. We’ve been into first choice today and amended our holiday free of charge with 30.00pp compensation. Soo glad we managed to get it changed straight away as the prices were increasing by the minute as we were completing our new search. Good luck guys x

    • Hi Cheryl

      Good to hear you were able to get sorted out and can look forward to a holiday you want to go on.

      Kind regards

      Bob

    • Hi there
      We have a flight booked with Thomas Cook for 1st May
      We know they have cancelled their programme for this year
      I have read that they will contact people travelling the soonest
      Seeing that they had already cancelled everything up to 30th April I thought they would have emailed me by now?
      We booked online & cannot approach their shop
      I have tried calling their phone line several times,up to an hour each time, but no one answers
      We want to cancel

      • Hi Pat

        I don’t know if you have tried to cancel the flights online? Are you able to do that at all? I note they also have an online chat facility which you could try. You can see it on this page along with the contact numbers.

        https://www.thomascookairlines.com/en/manage-my-booking.jsp

        Failing that option then there is only the one number to call which you have already tried and of course the option of visiting a shop. Even though you have booked online they should be able to assist you, even if you are using their telephone to pay for the call within the shop. Try them and see what they offer, they may well be able to assist you as Travel Agents have their own support numbers.

        Good luck

        Kind regards

        Bob

  42. Janet Witty says:

    I need to go to Tunisia on business and to move apartment. BUT how do I get insurance? I want to got to Sousse and Madhia only. Not to the red no go areas…Any ideas???

    • Hi Janet

      I do not know of any travel insurer that will cover you for travel to Tunisia at present as FCO deem all but essential travel is off limits. Insurers take this as a cue to suspend cover for any destination covered by that advice. I cannot therefore recommend anyone who will extend cover to you I’m afraid.

      You could consider contacting the ABI (Association of British Insurers) to ask if they can recommend anyone at all.

      https://www.abi.org.uk/

      Good luck and kind regards

      Bob

  43. Maison Real says:

    Interesting article. It is very unfortunate that over the last 10 years, the travel industry has had to fight terrorism, SARS, tsunamis, bird flu virus, swine flu, plus the first ever entire global tough economy. Through everything the industry has really proven to be effective, resilient in addition to dynamic, obtaining new approaches to deal with adversity. There are always fresh troubles and chance to which the field must once more adapt and react.

  44. katz.lover says:

    Excuse me. I know that Tunisia is having a bit of trouble right now but over all Tunisia is a GREAT country. I grew up there although I am not Tunisian. The people there are friendly and the tourism there is absolutely fantastic. And there will be some people who terrorize countries and cities. No place is perfect so maybe next time you should check what you right.

    • Hi Katz

      We agree that Tunisia is a fantastic country to visit. However the UK Government currently does not advise that British Nationals should travel to the country. This is the advice of the FCO and to which all UK tour operators abide by. Travel insurance companies will not cover you if you travel to a destinations where travel is advised against.

      We merely report the facts as we are given them by our Foreign & Commonwealth Office. We look forward to a time when travel is once again permitted for UK nationals and as such as will then promote it as per all other destinations.

      Kind regards

      Bob

  45. marce says:

    For everyone Tunesia more save and secure…I’ve been the tow weeks ago I enjoyed my holiday
    With my wife we go out every day night time we go for nice meal some time stopping in the restaurant side of the road very nice food friendly people..UK government they make it hard for British people to travelling to Tunesia..What happened in Tunesia could happen anywhere
    What if the history upside down what can happen go and enjoy your holiday 100percent
    Save

  46. marce says:

    I been in Tunesia in April for 2 weeks was nice no trouble at all booked again in 27 August to 20 September I love Tunesia
    I don’t care what some people says …hammamet is very secure and nothing I have to worry about ….should UK go there

  47. tunisia arabica says:

    Tunisia very safe with Russians germain japan Chinese French italiens sapin Tunisia Arabica finlands Danish Scandinavians all but not british unless you are indian Jamaican ect.. also spain morocco duibai italia . Tunisia for all those races only. Malaysians thai Greece ect Tunisia fell very very safe with all races of the world

  48. A. Husain says:

    How about if we are planning to settled in Tunisia?
    How about the IT Job market and salaries?
    what is the best way for applying jobs? is thr any Website / agencies/ companies?.
    What about the medical facilities and education system?.

    Thanks in Advance.

    • Hello,

      I’m afraid I don’t know much about the jobs market or everyday life in Tunisia! Your best bet is to find a Tunisia-related online forum where you can direct these questions to people already living in the country.

      A good place to start would be the Tunisia subreddit (forum) on the Reddit website: https://www.reddit.com/r/Tunisia/

      Thanks,
      Tom

  49. I am planning a trip to Tunis in September 2016 despite the US travel warning, Would you say that it is safe to travel there t this time? I will be staying with friends in Tunis.

    • Hi Raye,

      The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently advises British citizens against all but essential travel to Tunisia.

      As you are presumably a US citizen, however, you should follow your own country’s travel advice: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/tunisia.html – paying particular notice to the information under the ‘Safety and Security’ dropdown.

      The US Embassy in Tunisia released the following security statement on August 11, 2016: http://tunisia.usembassy.gov/security-message-for-u7.s.-citizens-08112016.html

      There have been no major terror attacks in Tunisia since those in Sousse in June 2015, although according to the FCO the threat level remains high.

      I have no doubt that you will be made welcome by the majority of Tunisian people, and the friends you are staying with should be able to give you a good idea of the situation there, but unfortunately it’s not possible for me or anyone else to give you a safety guarantee – ultimately it is up to you to assess the advice provided by your country’s government.

      Thanks,
      Tom

  50. Retha Britz says:

    Please advice on the latest safety status for travelling to Tunisia as of 14 Sep 2016. Many thanks

  51. Retha Britz says:

    Sorry – I forgot to add that am a South African citizen with South African passport but I will be travelling from Paris (France).

    Thanks you

    • Hello Retha,

      For British citizens, travel is currently off limits to Tunisia due to the unstable situation in the country at present.

      However, you should check with the South African government department that deals with advising its citizens abroad. They will be able to offer you clearer counsel in this instance.

      Thanks,

      Joey

  52. Attila says:

    Why the panic, people? One can die walking in the street in Cambridge or falling into a fjord in Norway… When it’s time, it’s time. Instead of being afraid of dying you all should concentrate on living life. Tunisia is a great country (have booked from 22.12.16 to 03.01.17 in La Badia in Hammamet, and I know that it’s going to be great. True, there are bad people also in Tunisia, but aren’t there bad people in the USA, UK, EU or Timbuktu? Anything can happen ANYWHERE, but being afraid simply blocks you from being free to travel and celebrate life. Cheers

    • Stacey says:

      Well said , I visited hammamet in September 2016 for 8 days , the security is very good now and I wasn’t worried at all and to be honest i fealt safer there than I would if I gone to say France but yet there are no travel restrictions to France.

  53. There’s certainly a great deal to learn about this issue.
    I love all of the points you’ve made.

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