The Daily Telegraph - Travel

Let tourists return, Tunisia tells Britain

- Hugh Morris

Tunisia is safe and British tourists should be able to return, the Tunisian ambassador to the UK has told the Foreign Office (FCO).

The FCO has advised against travel to the African country since a terrorist attack on a beach resort in Sousse last June left 38 dead, including 30 Britons, prompting UK tour operators to halt their package holidays there.

But Nabil Ammar has urged the FCO to relax its restrictio­ns and warned that the lack of tourists is hurting the country’s economy.

“If you take statistics, you have much less chance to die in Tunisia or to have any harm in Tunisia than so many countries close to us,” Mr Ammar told the BBC.

“Part of the solution against violence and terrorism is to have a good economy.”

Figures from the Tunisian Tourist Board show a fall of more than 90 per cent in British visitors for the first four months of 2016 compared with last year, down from 84,225 to 5,980.

Can Deniz of Tunisia specialist operator Just Sunshine said it was a shame it felt like the country had been singled out by the Foreign Office.

“There are problems in other parts of the world – in Paris, Brussels, Turkey – so it’s unfortunat­e that Tunisia has had a travel ban for so long,” he said.

“Other European countries are allowing their citizens to travel to Tunisia. So if it’s safe enough for the French, German or Swedish, why is not safe enough for the British?”

The FCO maintains a terrorist attack remains “highly likely”.

A spokesman said: “We know our travel advice can have a knock-on effect on the local economy and political considerat­ions, but we don’t let this influence the advice we give.

“The safety of British nationals is our main concern.”

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