Tunisia Rebounds As Travel Destination Following Terrorist Attacks

Tunisia has finally rebounded from two horrific terror attacks in 2015 as tourist numbers have doubled and airline companies are set to expand services to the country.

Terrorist attacks

Tunisia, once a favoured destination among European tourists, was hit hard by two terror attacks in 2015. The North African country was first shocked by a terrorist attack in March when 22 people were killed at the Bardo National Museum in the capital of Tunis.

In June the same year, a single gunman opened fire on sunbathing tourists on a beach in the resort town of Port El Kantaoui, located about six miles north of the city of Sousse. In that attack, 38 people were killed.

Tourism numbers

Tourism numbers to Tunisia dropped sharply after the attacks as European tour operators stopped offering package holiday to the country as demand began to decrease. While 2016 saw only 5,724,021 million tourists arrive into the country, the number has now surged to 9,429,000 in 2019, the best total in the last ten years.

The number is expected to rise even further after Lonely Planet named the country as one of the top 10 best value countries to visit in 2020.

sousse tunisia tourism number
Sousse is not only popular for its old walled town, but also for its nearby beach resorts. ©Screenshot

Airline connectivity

This can be seen as well in the number of new flight connections. Easyjet will resume flights from London Gatwick to Enfidha–Hammamet International Airport on 2nd May, while TUI will resume services from Bristol and London Stansted on 4th and 22nd May respectively.

Tunisian charter airline Nouvelair will also operate the London Gatwick to Enfidha route starting May 2nd and will also start flights to Manchester on May 3rd.

hammamet tunisia flights tourist numbers
The coast around Hammamet is one of the most popular tourist areas of Tunisia. ©Screenshot

More than just beaches

Tunisia is primarily known as a beach destination and has several resort areas along its long Mediterranean coastline. The best known of these areas are Sousse-Monastir, Narbeul-Hammamet and the Djerba-Zarzis coast.

The country also has a number of historical sights worth visiting. The Amphitheatre of El Jem is the biggest in the world outside of Rome. The ruins of ancient Carthage, just outside of the capital of Tunis, is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Sight for a good reason. The medinas (old walled town centres) of Sousse and Tunis are also worth a visit. The same counts for the whitewashed town of Sidi Bou Saïd just north of Tunis.

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Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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