Today sees the first Thomas Cook holiday makers return to Tunisia but is it safe to do so when a state of emergency remains in place and only recently extended on 10th February.
Thirty-eight tourists, including thirty Britons, were killed in June 2015 when gunman Seifeddine Rezgui opened fire at the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel. The Tunisian government has significantly increased security in the areas frequented by holidaymakers but the Foreign Office advise travel to certain parts of the country should be avoided. For those that do not already know the “go to” place for immediate advice and guidance is the Foreign office website and I would advise anyone to sign up to their email alerts. Foreign Office. The US state Department similarly advises increased caution and avoidance of the certain areas US State Dept
One of the problems within Tunisia is of course its location, bordering Libya with its very porous border, significant Islamist terrorist threat and no shortage of weapons. However the lack of tourists travelling to Tunisia since 2015 has without doubt caused financial hardship in the area which could be a significant catalyst for unrest and the development of further problems in the future if not addressed.
The issue of whether it is safe to return is a difficult one and the usual robust war time spirit of the British holidaymaker will probably largely prevail. However if you were to ask is another attack likely then the answer would probably be yes. Does that mean that its a risk to travel, then I believe yes it is but if you were to decide instead to stay and visit the attractions in London it would be hard to say which were a higher risk. In Tunisia the biggest problem in my opinion is the ease of access to weapons and the temptation for nearby radicals to strike out in a very public way at the west and its people.
The biggest issue that we as a society face is that it only takes a single lone terrorist to succeed if even in only a very simple or small way to cause significant human tragedy. The security services may prevent 10, 100 or 1000 attacks but the goal of the antagonist is to cause the most public damage to create the most terror in the free societies that they fight against.
Would I go myself, yes I probably would however if you were to ask would I take my family then no I probably would not especially when there are so many similar but probably safer destinations to choose from.