Tunisia is a leading beach destination but how safe is it for holidays? Jonathan Frankham, general manager at World Nomads, explained the risks.
Jonathan told Express.co.uk: “Tunisia is a popular destination for UK residents due to its sunny weather, beautiful beaches and rich history and culture.
“Its sandy beaches and clear waters are perfect for swimming, snorkelling and other water sports. Tunisia also offers a range of activities for tourists including camel rides, desert safaris and visits to traditional markets and souks.
“The country also offers good value for UK residents due to the favourable exchange rate. The country’s tourism industry has made a concerted effort to improve safety and security for tourists and visitors can expect to find well-maintained facilities and a high level of hospitality.”
But what do British tourists need to know before travelling to Tunisia?
Jonathan said: “While Tunisia has made significant strides in improving its security measures, there are still potential risks for UK travellers, particularly in areas near the border with Libya.
“It’s important for travellers to stay informed about the security situation and to take necessary precautions, such as avoiding large crowds and demonstrations, staying in reputable accommodations, and being aware of their surroundings at all times.”
Jonathon said: “Tunisia has experienced several terrorist attacks in recent years, including attacks on popular tourist destinations.
“Tourists should be cautious and vigilant, especially in crowded public places, and follow the advice of local authorities.”
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In 2015, 38 tourists, including 30 Britons, were killed in a terrorist attack in Sousse, a beach resort in Tunisia. While there is a risk of further attacks, the UK Government states that Tunisian security forces are “better prepared to tackle terrorist threats” than they were at the time of the terrorist attack in 2015.
Jonathon told Express.co.uk: “Tunisia has a moderate crime rate, and tourists should be cautious when travelling to areas known for pickpocketing, theft and scams.
“Tourists should avoid carrying large amounts of cash or expensive jewellery and keep their valuables secure.”
As with any tourist destination, travellers need to watch out for pickpockets in Tunisia and should try to keep valuables securely stored at their hotel.
Jonathon said: “Tunisia is a Muslim country with conservative cultural values and tourists should be respectful of local customs and dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites.”
In coastal resorts, the dress code is very similar to other beach destinations around the world, although tourists should check the rules before topless sunbathing.
Travellers visiting religious sites should dress modestly and respect local rules and customs.
Jonathon added: “Women may be subject to harassment on the street. Take care when travelling alone or at night.”
The UK Government advises women to maintain the same level of personal security as they would at home and take care when travelling alone.
Jonathan said: “Ultimately, the decision to travel to Tunisia should be based on an individual’s comfort level with the potential risks and their willingness to take necessary precautions. Take common sense approaches.
“Be aware of your surroundings, don’t carry an abundance of your valuables such as cash or your travel documents on your person and research the areas you intend to travel to. Always check the travel recommendations of your government for the region. And ensure you have an adequate level of travel insurance that will provide necessary cover for any unforeseen events.”
The UK Government advises against all but essential travel to the Chaambi Mountains National Park, the militarised zone south of the towns of El Borma and Dhehiba, within 20km of the rest of the Libya border area and the town of Ben Guerdane.
British tourists don’t need a visa to visit Tunisia for less than 90 days and their passport must be valid for the full duration of their stay.
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