A horrific terrorist attack at a museum in the Tunisia capital of Tunis leads to the deaths of 21 people, many of them cruise passengers on a shore excursion. In the wake of the tragedy, many are left hurting— those injured, family and friends who have lost loved ones, cruise lines scrambling to assist them and make itinerary adjustments for other customers, and a country losing vital tourism income as cruise lines drop the destination.
The Bardo National Museum in Tunis was the site of an attack last March 18th that left 21 people dead. Several gunmen reportedly opened fire on tourists, many of whom were on a shore excursion while their ships, from MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises, were on call at the Port of La Goulette. 12 guests of the MSC Splendida have reportedly been killed, while Costa Fascinosa was left with 5 deaths. Many others were injured. The victims include visitors from Japan, France, Spain, Colombia, Belgium, South Africa, Russia, Italy and the UK. Among those reportedly killed were two museum staff and two of the gunmen. Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for the attack.
Crews and cruise line representatives were quick to act with authorities on the local, national and international levels, in accounting for passengers, ensuring their safety, and giving support to those who were hurt or killed. MSC had cancelled shore excursions and recalled all passengers back to the ship, and made communication methods onboard available so that guests may be able to contact their families. The MSC Splendida and Costa Fascinosa has since left the port, but an MSC Crisis Team and Costa Care Team remained on hand to provide assistance in Tunis.
Following the atrocious attack, MSC and Costa suspended stops in Tunisia in their upcoming itineraries. They are not the only ones to do so; Holland America, Aida Cruises, Star Clippers and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises also cancelled stops in Tunisia, developments that will be a serious blow to a country highly dependent on tourism revenue. In 2014, for example, as many as 6.1 million tourists visited, and almost 500,000 jobs here—about 14% of total employment—are reliant on the travel and tourism industry.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of those hurt and lost in this attack. We at Kemplon Engineering sincerely hope our world’s tourists could be safer, and that the economies highly dependent on their visits could survive these terrifying developments.
^ “Five Costa Cruises’ Guests Killed in Tunis Attack.” World Maritime News, 22 Mar 2015. Web. 26 Mar 2015. http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/155375/five-costa-cruises-guests-killed-in-tunis-attack/
^ “MSC Cruises Suspends Tunisia Calls.” World Maritime News, 20 Mar 2015. Web. 26 Mar 2015. http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/155248/msc-cruises-suspends-tunisan-calls/
^ “Nine MSC Cruises’ Guests Killed in Terrorist Attack in Tunisia.” World Maritime News, 19 Mar 2015. Web. 26 Mar 2015. http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/155124/nine-msc-cruises-guests-killed-in-terrorist-attack-in-tunisia/
^ Sloan, Gene. “Cruise lines cancel Tunisia calls in wake of attack.” USA Today, 19 Mar 2015. Web. 26 Mar 2015. http://www.usatoday.com/story/cruiselog/2015/03/19/cruise-lines-tunisia-terrorist-attack/25010703/
^ Sloan, Gene. “Holland America cancels Tunisia calls in wake of attack.” USA Today, 21 Mar 2015. Web. 26 Mar 2015. http://www.usatoday.com/story/cruiselog/2015/03/21/cruise-ship-tunisia-calls/25150089/
^ Stephen, Chris. “Fear of Tunisia’s democracy led Isis to launch an attack on its tourist economy.” The Guardian, 22 Mar 2015. Web. 26 Mar 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/22/tunisia-terror-attack-tourists
^ “Tunis museum attack: Costa and MSC Cruises shun ports.” BBC.com, 19 Mar 2015. Web. 26 Mar 2015. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-31958657
“Tunisia museum massacre: the victims.” Rappler, 20 Mar 2015. Web. 26 Mar 2015. http://www.rappler.com/world/regions/africa/87502-tunisia-museum-massacre-victims
“Update: MSC Cruises’ Death Toll Rises to Twelve.” World Maritime News, 19 Mar 2015. Web. 26 Mar 2015. http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/155240/update-msc-cruises-death-toll-rises-to-twelve/
Winfield, Nicole. “Cruise Lines Stop Tunisia Visits After Museum Attack.” ABC News, 19 Mar 2015. Web. 26 Mar 2015. http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/cruise-line-cancels-tunisian-ports-call-attack-29749006