First Tourists Since 2015 Sousse Massacre Greeted With Flowers And Dancing

First Tourists Since 2015 Sousse Massacre Greeted With Flowers And Dancing

Tourists were greeted with flowers, music and dancing after arriving in Tunisia on the first UK package holiday since the Sousse massacre in 2015.

The Thomas Cook flight carried 220 passengers from Birmingham to Enfidha, approximately 30 miles from the site of the 2015 terror attacks.

The tour operator is resuming package holidays to the country after the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) relaxed travel advice.

The FCO advised against all but essential visits following the June 2015 beach attack in which 30 Britons were killed, but this guidance was withdrawn for the majority of the North African country last year.

Passengers arriving in the airport were greeted with women offering flowers and a band playing traditional music.

“It’s great news that Thomas Cook are welcoming visitors back to Tunisia”, said Samir Ben Haj Fraj, 19, who was a passenger on the flight.

“It was a full flight of 220 passengers and all the flights this week are fully booked”, said Mr Ben Haj Fraj.

“Obviously no country is 100% safe. In the UK there have been terrorist attacks in London and Manchester. But I think (Tunisia) is a safe destination.”

Women offering flowers greet visitors at Enfidha Airport. Samir Ben Haj Fraj

Thomas Cook resumed holiday sales to UK customers in August, with trips beginning on Tuesday.

The company did not stop selling trips to French, German and Belgian holidaymakers after the Sousse attack as their governments did not recommend that their citizens should not visit Tunisia.

Some 440,000 people from the UK visited Tunisia in 2014, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Demand was reportedly even higher during the following year, until the Sousse attack in which gunman Seifeddine Rezgui killed a total of 38 tourists.

Terror group Islamic State claimed responsibility.


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