Just one week after the ISIS terrorist attack in Tunisia, local superyacht businesses are reassuring yachtsmen that security has been increased at Tunisian ports despite numerous cancellations.
Not long after the country has had to recover from the impact of the Bardo Museum attack where 17 were left dead, a total of 38 people – including at least 29 Britons –were killed by a gunman with links to Islamic State extremists near Sousse, Tunisia.
Despite the upped security and the government’s involvement, the UK Foreign Office has updated its travel advice to warn that further terrorist attacks in Tunisia are possible and are urging people to be vigilant. According to some local yacht businesses, superyacht owners, crew and charter companies are already cancelling their travel plans.
Kim Williams from Yacht Services Tunisia explains: “The management and staff at Yacht Services Tunisia will continue to support yachting tourism by ‘riding out’ this horrific incident, the same way we did during the Tunisian revolution; by reassuring yachtsmen and their yachts that security has been greatly increased in Port Bizerte and Port Yasmine.
“The Tunisian people are deeply shocked and sickened by what has happened in their country and I want people to understand that the mentality of the attacker is not Tunisian.”
Imed Mzoughi, port director from Port Yasmine, adds: “At this moment in time, we have only had a 3% cancellation rate since the attack. However, we have had very little new reservations, or let’s say, we haven’t had any more at all. The government and the marina have enforced measures to protect the marina and surrounding areas in a bid to save the rest of the season.”
A meeting between Tunisian officials and EU ambassadors is likely to take place in the coming weeks, where it is expected a request for more intelligence-sharing and electronic monitoring equipment will be made.