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Saturday 10 December 2016

Irish holidaymakers don't like being told that they can't go somewhere, says expert

A tourist sits near flowers placed at the beachside of the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. Hundreds of armed police patrolled the streets of Tunisia's beach resorts on Sunday and the government said it will deploy hundreds more inside hotels after the Islamist militant attack in Sousse that killed 39 foreigners, mostly Britons. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi
A tourist sits near flowers placed at the beachside of the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. Hundreds of armed police patrolled the streets of Tunisia's beach resorts on Sunday and the government said it will deploy hundreds more inside hotels after the Islamist militant attack in Sousse that killed 39 foreigners, mostly Britons. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi
SOUSSE, TUNISIA - JUNE 28: A man prays after laying flowers on Marhaba beach where 38 people were killed on Friday in a terrorist attack on June 28, 2015 in Souuse, Tunisia. Sousse beaches remain quiet following the Tunisia beach attack which left 38 dead, including at least 15 Britons. Around 1,000 tourists returned to the UK with more set to follow in the coming days. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Holidaymakers view flowers left on Marhaba beach where 38 people were killed on Friday in a terrorist attack on June 28, 2015 in Souuse, Tunisia. Sousse beaches remain quiet following the Tunisia beach attack which left 38 dead, including at least 15 Britons. Around 1,000 tourists returned to the UK with more set to follow in the coming days. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

A LEADING travel expert has said Irish people will continue to holiday in Tunisia.

Eoghan Corry, editor of Travel Extra magazine, said the Irish have a history of continuing to travel despite warnings to avoid a destination.

"Irish people are very resilient on this," he said.

On Friday, just hours after the slaughter in Sousse, about one-third of holidaymakers pulled out of a flight to Tunisia.

"I believe even fewer people will pull out of next week's flight," said Mr Corry.

"Once the initial shock of what has happened passes, I think people will continue to travel to Tunisia.

"We have a history of continuing to travel and being much more resilient when compared to other markets.

"Irish people do not like to be told that they can't travel somewhere."

Two Irish tour operators, Sunway and Justsunshine, currently offer holidays to Tunisia.

Sunway has said it will continue to operate flights there, but will be guided by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The company said it will offer refunds or alternative destinations to people who want to cancel their planned trips to the north African country.

RISKS

The Department of Foreign Affairs last night kept their warning level at "exercise extreme caution". That is two steps below a blanket ban, and tells people not to travel to a particular country for safety reasons.

Speaking to RTE News in Tunisia last night, ambassador David Cooney said the Government is not advising against travel to the region.

"Unfortunately, in the world we live in there are risks everywhere we go," he said.

"This particular incident was by what even Islamic State has described as a lone wolf - he was clearly not a trained terrorist."

Mr Cooney said consular staff were working alongside local authorities to ensure that Irish citizens in Tunisia remain safe.

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