Today my heart goes out to the Victims, their Families and Friends and the Tunisian people; all of us here at HolidayTravelWatch offer our deepest sympathies and support.
I have however been holding my breath for sometime. I have been watching the nightly news of the terrors taking place along the Mediterranean coast of North Africa and witnessing the unfolding of a Humanitarian Nightmare. In amongst all this mayhem, holidaymakers being offered 'great deals' to destinations in Tunisia & Egypt.
I have no axe to grind with the peoples of these great countries and I can understand why people would want to travel there, but, I have to ask:
- Is it right to market and sell holidays to these destinations whilst the region is in such a state of flux?
- Is it right, in our desire to help those countries recover after the 2010 'revolutions', to offer our Consumers as 'Economic Foot-Soldiers'?
- Surely the time has come to let the people find a way to heal their countries without the distraction of tourism and the perils of security?
The shocking reports from Tunisia reveal every holidaymaker's worst fears and that fear continues beyond today's events, to those who have already booked to travel to Tunisia. The early indication to our helpline is that some have looked at the 'history' of what has already happened in Tunisia and took the plunge to nonetheless take their holiday there.
In my view, intending holidaymakers are not served well by UK Foreign Office Travel Advisories, which often fail to spell out in greater detail as to what the risk is and more importantly, what steps a State is taking to protect its visitors.
In the past we have had some holidaymakers who have challenged a security situation only to be told by their tour operator that the FCO state that it's OK to travel to a destination, so the holiday stands - holidaymakers find that they only have 2 choices; go and take a risk or cancel and potentially lose all their money.
Today, intending UK holidaymakers to Tunisia, as we have already seen from our helpline, are frightened for themselves and their families; they are asking us:
- What are my rights?
- How can I get my money back?
- Can they force me to go?
- Do they have to compensate me?
For those holidaymakers who are about to go, the below article gives information on your basic holiday rights and will equip you before you speak with your tour operator; I hope this helps you!