Comment: Tunisian atrocity tests the resolve of us all

Comment: Tunisian atrocity tests the resolve of us all

When we’re recruiting for a reporter for Travel Weekly, we like to entice candidates by telling them how they could end up reporting on virtually every major world event.

Travel is seldom left untouched by major incidents. Tragically, last week that truism became horrifically apparent.

This time, however, travel was not just caught up in a major incident – it became the target of the latest terrorist outrage.

Just one word springs to mind about what happened on the beach at Port El Kantaoui last Friday afternoon – atrocity.

It is beyond belief that holidaymakers sunbathing on a beach could be targeted in such a callous and brutal manner.

The events in Tunisia can only add to an already febrile atmosphere of fear that is being fanned, in part, by alarmist media reports suggesting virtually everywhere is unsafe.

The economic situation in Greece, the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean and the strikes in France are all bound to be making travellers cautious about leaving these shores.

We hear it all the time that Brits are resilient, and I’ve no doubt our industry will be at the forefront of helping Tunisia to rebuild its tourism industry when the time is right.

But the country’s tourism sector will feel the impact of last week’s events for a long time, as Egypt did following the Luxor massacre of 1997 – the week I started reporting on travel.

I was a holiday rep before I became a journalist and can only imagine what the travel companies affected are going through.

Tales of how British operators and agents, as well as reps and Tunisian hotel workers, rallied to support those affected is the only heartening aspect of an utterly devastating week for travel.


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