Luton Airport(LTN) based easyJet has announced that they will be returning to the beach resort of Enfidha in Tunisia starting next summer. Like other European airlines, the low-cost carrier pulled out the Tunisian holiday marketplace following Foreign Office advice in the wake of a 2015 terror attack that left 38 people dead.
The attack carried out by the so-called Islamic State group at Port El Kantaoui, near Sousse, targeted British tourists staying at the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba. A lack of protection by the Tunisian security forces came under scrutiny with the British Foreign Office advising U.K. citizens not to travel to the North African nation.
Travel restrictions were lifted in 2017
While the restrictions on travel to Tunisia were lifted in 2017, easyJet decided to wait until 2020 to resume flights to the country. easyJet announced that they will be flying to Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport (NBE) in the Gulf of Hammamet from Gatwick Airport (LGW) starting May 2nd,2020.
The news was all part of an announcement highlighting the all-Airbus airline’s 25 new routes for next summer, which for the first time also include flights to the Albanian capital of Tirana.
When speaking about the 12 new routes the airline will be offering from the United Kingdom the airlines U.K. manager Ali Gayward said,
“We expect our new destinations to be especially popular amongst customers, offering something different from typical bucket-and-spade holidays.
“We are continuing to deliver a network of destinations which provide our customers with flexibility and choice, underlining our commitment to providing the destinations our customers want.”
Security in Tunisia has improved
When lifting travel restrictions to Tunisia in 2017, a spokesperson for the Foreign Office in London said,
“Since the terrorist attack in Sousse in June 2015, which targeted tourists, the UK government has been working closely with the Tunisian authorities to investigate the attack and the wider threat from terrorist groups. The Tunisian government has improved protective security in major cities and tourist resorts.”
Tunisia is less expensive than other Mediterranean destinations
Slowly, tourists have begun to return to Tunisia attracted by goods and services priced in the Tunisian dinar, making it less expensive than other Mediterranean destinations. Tunisia also has more the 1,000 kilometers of pristine sandy beaches and, unlike the Spanish Costas, plenty of room for everyone to enjoy.
The country also has some amazing ancient historical sites that include Carthage and locations used in the 1997 hit film “The English Patient.”
The latest tourism figures from the Tunisian Ministry of Tourism showed that nearly 600,000 visitors arrived in the first quarter of 2019 a 17% increase on the previous year.
The collapse of British tour operator Thomas Cook came as a shock to Tunisia’s hope of rebuilding its tourism industry, but now with easyJets announcement, there is a sense of optimism that people are beginning to return.
While the majority of Tunisia is open to tourists, visitors are advised to steer clear of the southern region that borders Libya where a state of emergency remains in place.