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Published on : Saturday, June 27, 2015
Are tourists safe?
With consistent terror attacks on tourists and tourist landmarks the world over the question on safety for travellers is an issue that keeps cropping in the minds of people. How safe are tourists while travelling?
Attacks on tourists in Tunisia
The attacks on tourists in the Tunisian beach which were principally focused on tourists who were enjoying themselves in the holy hours of Ramadan was an incident directly targeted at tourists.
Tunisia’s Prime Minister has announced that among the dead in the terror attack majority were British followed by Germans, Belgians and other nationalities. At least 27 people were killed in a gun attack at a beachside hotel, according to official reports.
Tourists were caught completely offguard when an Islamist gunman hiding his gun in a beach umbrella started firing rampantly at European tourists enjoying the warm Tunisian climate. Sousse, some 150 kilometers from Tunis, is a popular resort for both Tunisians and Europeans. Attackers even went to the hotel and began firing at the tourists. There was panic and bloodshed all around leaving those who survived, petrified. With so many lives lost and many families left mourning, one wonders how holidays like these can turn completely gory from planned pleasure trip.
Tunisia was already on high alert since Islamist gunman attacked the Bardo museum in Tunis in March killing a group of foreign tourists. Terror attacks from Islamic fundamentalists have been causing more upsets than one can swallow. While Syria, Yemen and neighbouring Libya are now in various stages of meltdown, Egypt is back in military rule. The country though trying to reestablish its tourism is facing continuous threats from terrorists in major tourist spots creating uncertainties in the minds of tourists to even plan a holiday in the enchanting destination.
Travel bookings cancelled
EasyJet has taken the decision to allow passengers who are booked to travel to Monastir within the next 14 days to a free flight transfer on any date and on any route, or alternatively a flight voucher to the value of their unused flight sectors after the fearsome terror attacks in Tunisia.
German tour operator TUI said that tourists who had booked Tunisian holidays for this summer could rebook or cancel the trips free of charge until September 15, adding that it currently has 3,800 German tourists in the North African country.
Tunisia the birthplace of the Arab Spring is a beautiful tourist destination which is about to lose a lot of tourism support as safety measures prevent tourists from travelling to disturbed zones.
Attack in France
The attack in France where two people were killed in a blast in a U.S. owned factory and the suspect left two banners or flags, inscribed with Islamic writing, hanging with the victim’s head along with a decapitated body in the suspect’s van creating terror shocks in the minds of people. Earlier attacks on Charlie Hebdo all culminate to fear and uncertainties among tourists.
Attack in Kuwait
In Kuwait, ISIS claimed responsibility for a blast that killed 25 people and left 200 injured at a Shiite-affiliated mosque during Friday Prayers.
Tourism being stifled by terrorism
Sajjan Gohel, the international security director for the Asia-Pacific Foundation told the CNN that “Terrorism is something that, unfortunately, we’re going to have to accept as part of our daily lives,” Gohel, is an Islamist ideology expert at the London School of Economics. “Terrorism is now diffuse: It’s not autonomous, it’s not necessarily being coordinated by one particular group, (and) it can often be very spontaneous.”
The Tunisian attacks can be considered the deadliest on tourists in the Arab world till this date after the 1997 massacre in Luxor Egypt.
Tunisia has undergone incredible democratic transition; it is a success story of Arab Spring. But attacks of these natures will cut its wings of progress. Travelling is associated with safety, security and assurance of a quiet and peaceful return back home. With compelling tragedies of such nature, unprecedented terror attacks will always cast it dark spell on tourism.