Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Would you still travel to Tunisia now?
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Thursday 15 August 2013
Q Would you still travel to Tunisia now? I read earlier this year that you would, but has this changed?
@midiancabal, via Twitter
A I would happily return to Tunisia. The "Arab Spring" began with an uprising in Tunisia at the start of 2011, and has reverberated through the region since then. After some brief skirmishes (in which British holidaymakers were evacuated, in what looks with hindsight like an over-reaction), Tunisia made a remarkably peaceful transition to democracy. As in some other parts of the Arab world, Islamists took power following the elections.
Since then, two opposition politicians have been assassinated, provoking mass demonstrations from more liberal Tunisians. The deplorable killings are deeply troubling for the future direction of the country. But in the short term, the latest increase in tension has had only minimal impact on tourists to Tunisia. Last month, a one-day general strike in protest against the latest murder grounded all Tunisair flights for the day, but caused little disruption in the resorts.
The two threats that I am always wary of in Tunisia: the high accident rate on the roads, which you can reduce by travelling by train between Tunis and the main resorts; and terrorism. But neither risk would stop me from going.
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