A June terrorist attack leaves 38 tourists dead in Tunisia, a country already hurting from another attack earlier this year (see related article, “Cruise Passengers Killed in Tunisia Terror Attack”). The country is declared to be in a state of emergency, and tourism players like MSC Cruises make adjustments to their upcoming itineraries.Last March, the Bardo National Museum in Tunisia was the site of a horrific attack that left 23 people dead at the hands of militants. Many of those who perished were tourists on a shore excursion while their ships, from MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises, were on call at the Port of La Goulette.
Millions of tourists visit scenic and culturally-rich Tunisia yearly, and half a million local jobs are reliant on the industry that serves them. Attacks targeting tourists could therefore be a serious blow to the country’s economy – and sure enough, following the March attack, cruise players like MSC, Costa, Holland America and AIDA Cruises had suspended 2015 stops in Tunis.
Unfortunately, another jarring attack would hit the country just a few months later.
Late last June, 38 people lost their lives when a lone gunman opened fire on tourists at a resort near Sousse, Tunisia. Thirty of those who had perished are believed to be British. The perpetrator of the attack was a Tunisian student who had used a Kalashnikov on tourists lounging outside the Hotel Rui Imperial Marhaba. He had also reportedly used grenades inside a hotel. The gunman would later lose his life at the hands of authorities. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.
In the wake of this most recent incident, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi set a state of emergency from the 4th of July to the 2nd of August. MSC Cruises, which considers Tunis a key stop, has since suspended calls to the country for the winter 2015-2016 season for passenger safety. Affected ships are the MSC Preziosa, which will be stopping in Malta instead; and the MSC Magnifica and MSC Poesia, which will be spending time in Spain in the alternative.
We at Kemplon Engineering are one with the maritime community in expressing our sympathies and condolences to those affected by the attacks.
Too many of the world’s most beautiful and culturally significant locations are being threatened by violence (see related article “MSC Cruises: Suspends 2015 Stops in Egypt and Ukraine”), on top of the economic hardships that could befall locals reliant on tourism revenues. We hope to one day soon see a more safe and peaceful future for tourism.
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Masek, Theresa Norton. “MSC Cruises Cancels Winter 2015-16 Calls to Tunisia.” Travel Pulse, 09 Jul 2015. Web. 18 Jul 2015. http://www.travelpulse.com/news/impacting-travel/msc-cruises-cancels-winter-2015-16-calls-to-tunisia.html
“MSC Diverts Ships from Tunisia.” The Maritime Executive, 09 Jul 2015. Web. 18 Jul 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/msc-diverts-ships-among-terrorism-threat
Sloan, Gene. “MSC Cruises drops calls in Tunisia through winter.” USA Today, 09 Jul 2015. Web. 18 Jul 2015. http://www.usatoday.com/story/cruiselog/2015/07/09/tunisia-cruise-calls-msc/29905875/
Thakkar, Emrys. “MSC Cruises Stops Calls To Tunisia Until Spring 2016.” Cruise Hive, 09 Jul 2015. Web. 18 Jul 2015. http://www.cruisehive.com/msc-cruises-stops-calls-to-tunisia-until-spring-2016/7351
“Tunisia attack: What we know about what happened.” BBC, 30 Jun 2015. Web. 18 Jul 2015. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-33304897