This latest advice on travelling to Tunisia relates to UK citizens but it is basically the same as other countries.
In light of the recent terrorist attack in Sousse, which claimed 38 lives of foreign tourists, including no less than thirty British nationals, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have issued the following advice on travel to Tunisia.
Since the attack in Sousse, we have been working closely with the Tunisian authorities to investigate the attack and the wider threat from terrorist groups in Tunisia. Although we have had good cooperation from the Tunisian government, including putting in place additional security measures, the intelligence and threat picture has developed considerably, reinforcing our view that a further terrorist attack is highly likely.
On balance, we do not believe the mitigation measures in place provide adequate protection for British tourists in Tunisia at the present time and we have therefore changed our travel advice accordingly.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:
- The Chaambi Mountain National Park area
- The TunisiaAlgeria border crossing points at Ghardimaou, Hazoua and Sakiet Sidi Youssef the militarized zone south of, but not including, the towns of El Borma and Dhehiba within 5km of the Libya border area from north of Dhehiba up to but not including the Ras Ajdir border crossing
- The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of Tunisia.
If you’re in Tunisia and you don’t have an essential need to remain you should leave by commercial means. Tour operators are arranging additional flights and will be organising departures for their customers.
- If you’re travelling with a tour operator, you should contact your tour operator’s representative in the first instance.
- If you’re travelling independently, you should make your own arrangements to leave.
- Commercial airlines are operating. If you need consular assistance (above and beyond travel information) you should contact the British Embassy in Tunis.
A terrorist attack took place at Port El Kantaoui near Sousse on 26 June. Thirty eight foreign tourists were killed, including 30 British nationals. Further terrorist attacks are highly likely, including in tourist resorts, and by individuals unknown to the authorities whose actions may be inspired by terrorist groups via social media.
You should be especially vigilant at this time and follow the advice of the Tunisian security authorities and your tour operator, if you have one.
There is a high threat from terrorism in Tunisia. On 4 July the Tunisian government announced it was reinstating the state of emergency, lifted in 2014, as part of its continuing response to the recent terrorist attacks.
On 8 July the Tunisian Prime Minister stated publicly that further attacks are likely. The Tunisian authorities have increased their security measures but have also acknowledged the limitations in their ability to counter the current terrorist threat. See Terrorism
Have You Already Booked Your Travels To Tunisia?
- Many families will have booked to travel to Tunisia during the school summer holidays.
- Most should be able to go elsewhere without losing out financially, or get their money back.
- Travellers on package deals must be offered an alternative or a full refund by their travel company, for as long as Foreign Office advice suggests no travel to Tunisia.
- Those who have booked flights and accommodation separately should find that airlines will offer to reschedule
Tour operators are prioritising the 3,000 plus people on holiday in Tunisia, and those travelling in the next 48 hours. If you are travelling in a few weeks’ time, it might take a while to get any new holiday plans finalised.
If you are looking for alternative holiday suggestions to Tunisia please feel free to contact us via the button below
Beware of internet scammers on third-party booking websites.
Using the Internet to book your vacation or hotel room to Thailand or the Philippines or for that matter any other destination has become the norm. In fact worldwide over $145 billion is spent on the internet each year just on travel.
But travellers need to be aware of internet tricks by scammers determined to ruin
your trip to Thailand or the Far East.
Travel experts are warning Thai and Filipino vacationers about booking through unscrupulous third-party vendors who, when contacted, give every impression they are the actual hotel.
When their victims show up at the hotel to start their vacation the room isn’t what they were expecting and sometimes there is no room at all.
So who are these third-party vendors? The American Hotel and Lodging Association cites a number of websites to look out for. The third-party sites have professional sounding call
centres and when they answer the phone they sound just like the actual hotel themselves.
You think you are booking and paying for a superior room and when you get there you have been allocated a standard or single.
It is always recommended that when visiting Thailand, Philippines or the Far East you make sure that if you are booking online you are not dealing with a third-party vendor posing as the actual hotel, resort or even their website.
As a consumer, make sure you to do your homework and that you are dealing with the actual hotel or resort when booking and you are not dealing with a third-party vendor out to steal your money and ruin your vacation.
Or better still use the services of a travel professional to make your holiday arrangements, who more often than not, have access to exclusive deals and packages that could save you money and the back up of trade associations like the TTA to protect your money too..
Essential information on vacation and holiday scams keeping you safe and also your property whilst you are away!
Travellers beware of vacation and holiday scams in hotels and online, also some useful hints for keeping your home secure while you are away from our ex Scotland Yard Detective.
• In your hotel watch out for a telephone call claiming they are from the hotel’s front desk telling you there is a problem with your credit card and asking you to read out and confirm
the credit card number over the phone could really be from a scammer.
If the hotel really has an issue with your card the staff should call and ask you to attend the front desk or reception in person.
• Pizza delivery flyer slipped under your hotel door could be from a scammer trying to get
your credit-card number. When you call the number on the flyer to order a Pizza no pizza
ever arrives but the scammer has your credit card number from when you paid.
For safety get restaurant food delivery recommendations from the hotel front desk. Most hotels leave lists of local restaurants in your room.
• When searching for your hotel’s Wi-Fi network. You could find one with the hotel’s name in reality is a scammer trying to access your computer and information.
Always check with the hotel to ensure you are using the proper authorized Wi-Fi network before you connect.
Some more online safety tips;
• Never stay permanently signed in to accounts. When you’re finished what you are doing always, log out.
• Never use the same password on different websites.
• Consider altering the settings on your mobile device so that it doesn’t automatically connect to the nearest Wi-Fi.
Dont forget your Home Security whilst your away!
• Ask a friend to collect your post and store it out of site or arrange for the post office to
hold on to your mail for the duration of your journey.
• Remember piles of newspapers can alert thieves arrange for them to be put aside by a neighbour or cancel them.
• Never tell taxi drivers who are taking you to the airport how long you will be away or where you are holidaying.
• Use timer light switches to give the impression your property is occupied.
• Never post on Facebook that you are going away and that your home is vacant.
• Always secure you garage and shed, thieves can use the tools to break into your home.
Using a licensed and insured Travel Agent can help safeguard you from many scams our expert advise is FREE and we can also help save you money on your holiday with our vast range of contacts and experience!
These are just a few tips which we hope will help you make the most of your holiday and avoid any nasty unpleasantness when you return..
Thailand’s Tourism Ministry to propose curfew lifting in more vacation spots.
BANGKOK, 5 June 2014 (NNT) – The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is planning to request the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to withdraw the curfew in eight additional places in order to ease public concerns and restore tourism.
Permanent Secretary for Tourism and Sports Suwat Sitthilor disclosed a plan to ask the NCPO to consider deactivating the curfew in more areas next week after Phuket, Pattaya and Koh Samui were cleared of the restrictions recently. The additional areas consist of Krabi, Phang Nga, Trang,Hat Yai district of Songkhla, Koh Chang of Trat Cha-am district of Phetchaburi, Hua Hin district of Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chiang Mai.
The Tourism and Sports Ministry viewed that the eight places were some of the country’s most famous destinations where visitors were usually offered a vibrant nightlife. Furthermore, it was considered unlikely for political violence to take place in those areas.
Since the number of foreign tourists to Thailand during the first five months of this year posted a decline of 5-6 percent from last year, the ministry expects the number for the entire year to reach 26.5 million persons, rather than the previous projection of 28.02 million. The targeted revenue has also been lowered from 2.2 trillion baht to 1.8 trillion.
Thai Holiday Scams Holidays to Thailand Thailand Value Vacations
When it comes to holiday nightmares, being scammed into renting an apartment or accommodation from a scammer has to top the list of nightmare scenarios.
Unfortunately the problem is growing and becoming more common so watch out this summer. “The problem is reaching epidemic proportions” said Kim Tuffin of the anti- scam expert site FidelityCheckOnline.com.
Online classifieds are a favourite place for scammers to place their fake advertisements and target their unsuspecting victims. The scammers often infiltrate the listings for legitimate holiday rental properties and make themselves the person to contact. They then try and scam money from their victim, their goal is to either get a large deposit or the full amount from their victim upfront.
Then of course they just disappear with the money. Some people lose thousands of pounds, dollars or euro’s and it is common for them to arrive at their destination only to find out they have been scammed and have no ware where to stay.
A Sacramento, California family, where the victims of a identical scam a few years ago. They had found a property in Alaska at a reasonable price. They contacted the advertised rental company who were very helpful. They even had a relative drive buy the premises to see what it was like.
Everything looked above board so they went ahead and paid $1,500 to the online scammer for the rental. When they arrived at the property the owner said the property wasn’t for rent and it had never be advertised, they have been scammed.
Rental scams can happen anywhere in the world, but properties in the most popular vacation areas, such as Florida, seem to be popular with the scammer this year. The police department in Cape Coral—near Fort Myers— has 20 active holiday vacation rental scam investigations. Some of the holiday scam victims have lost several thousand dollars.
People should be cautious as once the money is wired it is very difficult for police to locate and recover it. Always be aware of Western Union money transfers as there is no way of tracing who has collected the money. Kim Tuffin said “look out for holiday rental deals that sound too good to be true, always do your homework and try and stick to well known and established rental sites and tour operators”.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla on the Thai-Malaysia border. On 10 April 2014 the Australian authorities indicated that extremists may be planning to target westerners in the southern border provinces.
The FCO advise against all travel to the Preah Vihear (Khaoi Pra Viharn in Thai) temple area and the Ta Krabey/Ta Moan temple area located on the Thai-Cambodian border due to the presence of troops in the area and the risk of outbreaks of fighting.
On 22 May the Chief of the Royal Thai Army announced that the military had taken control of government, would restore order and ensure political reform in Thailand. Martial law is in place and provides an enabling framework for the Royal Thai Army to take action it deems necessary to enforce law and order, and instructions can change rapidly. As a result there is increased military presence in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces. You should generally allow extra time for journeys, including to Bangkok airports.
A nationwide curfew has been announced 10pm to 5am. Authorities have advised that the curfew will not apply to those travelling to or from the airport, but departing or arriving travellers should have their passports and tickets. You should continue to monitor the media for information and any updates.
The Chief of the Royal Thai Army has assured the safety of all foreigners in Thailand. A number of media outlets have been taken off air and there is a risk that this could extend to the Internet. The military media channels are continuing to broadcast. As the situation is evolving you should monitor local news and social media for developments.
There is a risk of a violent reaction to the Army’s announcement. We recommend that you exercise extreme caution and remain alert to the situation. If you’re in any doubt about your safety, stay in your accommodation.
Political demonstrations continue in and around Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand. There have been indiscriminate attacks involving weapons and explosives at protest sites and at protest marches causing casualties and deaths. Attacks have taken place during the daytime and at night.
Protest action has caused significant disruption to roads in affected areas, with knock-on effects across the city. The situation is unpredictable and further protests are expected.
The main anti-government protest site is at Ratchadamnoen Avenue with a smaller anti-government protest site at the government complex at Chaeng Watthana. The main pro-government protest site is at Utthayan Road in western Bangkok.
You should take extra care and avoid all protest sites, political gatherings, demonstrations and marches.
Tourist’s Friend Centres, which provide information for tourists, are located at the Sport Authority of Thailand in the Bangkapi district of Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports, four BTS Skytrain stations (Siam, Phya Thai, Ekkamai and Wong Wian Yai) and Hua Lampong MRT station. You can also contact the Tourist’s Friend Centre by telephone on +66 (0)2 314 1212 (in English – 24 hours).
There is a high threat from terrorism.
The majority of road traffic accidents in Thailand involve motorcycles, but accidents involving other vehicles including cars, coaches and mini-buses also occur.
By law you must carry your passport with you at all times. Tourists have been arrested because they were unable to produce their passport.
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel and make sure you have included that you are traveling to Thailand.
Penalties for possession, distribution or manufacture of drugs are severe and can include the death penalty.
Over 800,000 British nationals visit Thailand every year. Most visits are trouble-free, but incidents of crime (sometimes violent) can affect visitors.