Tunisia attacks: British tourists 'feel safer there than London' and 'want to stay'

Holidaymakers and ex-pats have said that they were annoyed by the Foreign Office's instructions to leave Tunisia

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The Independent Online

British tourists have hit back at Foreign Office instructions to return from Tunisia, with many saying they feel safer than ever despite imminent terror attack warnings.

The Foreign Office announced that it would be scheduling flights to bring tourists and ex-pats back from the North African country, two weeks after a gunman shot 30 Britons dead on a beach in Sousse.

Officials said that since the attack they had been able to develop a better picture of the situation in Tunisia and that there was a real risk of a second terror attack.

Tourists arrive back in the UK from Tunisia


But not all tourists who have chosen to go out after the massacre are happy to be being flown home and a number have said that due to increased security in hotels and along beaches they feel even safer than they would on holiday normally.

Heidi Barlow is holidaying in a town north of Sousse but will be flying back early on Wednesday. She told the Mirror that: “We would actually be happy to stay in the current situation because we feel so safe. It’s very quiet. And you can’t imagine that anything could happen.

“People feel safe. They certainly didn’t expect to have to leave.”

She added: “On every single entrance to the hotels there’s a guard. There’s armed guards on the beaches. It’s extremely secure and probably more secure than a lot of places you could go at the moment.”

Holidaymaker Craig Lewis told the paper he only got one day in Tunisia before being told to fly back. “I think the message was, ‘you can go out there if you choose’, and of course you get out there and it’s like, ‘you need to come home’.”

Ex-pats being told to come home faced more than just a lost week in the sun. Mark Henzley who lives in Sousse told the BBC that the news was “heartbreaking” and that he felt safer in Tunisia than he used to in London.

“The decision has been made on no specific intelligence or a credible threat. It's a perceived idea that something else will happen.”


He echoed thoughts expressed by many people following the Foreign Office’s orders. “London is pretty much in that situation all the time. The threat level there bounces between severe and imminent pretty much constantly.”

Another Londoners on holiday, Myles Roberts, told the BBC that it was the journey home worrying him. “I'm concerned about the security risks of transporting such a large number of holidaymakers in a short time span. Surely, that puts us at increased risk of attack.”

The Foreign Office is warning against all but essential travel for the majority of Tunisia