There has been an increase in terrorist movement and attacks in the past few years, with several attacks targeting tourists. Travel safety advice for Tunisia is to remain vigilant at all times and follow advice from local security authorities. Libya, located southeast of Tunisia, experiences high levels of terrorism and a hostile security situation. There is a risk of migration from terrorist groups in neighbouring countries due to Tunisia’s location. Border areas with Libya and Algeria have an increased presence of Tunisian security forces due to a high level of cross-border violence and terrorist threats. As a result, borders can be closed at any time with minimal warning. Tourist destinations and western nationals remain potential targets of attack and should remain cautious of the threat.
Since the Arab Spring in 2011, attacks in Tunisia have resulted in multiple deaths within the region, including security forces and tourists. Several significant incidents in 2015 resulted in 38 people killed in a terrorist shooting attack in Sousse. This attack was openly targeting tourists on holidays and caused mass devastation. A similar style attack on the National Bardo Museum in Tunis left 22 people dead. The attacks destroyed Tunisia’s tourism sector, which was responsible for 7% of the gross domestic profit. The country has been under a state of emergency since November 2015, when a potential ISIL (ISIS) suicide bombing in Tunis killed 12 presidential guards.
Crime incidents have increased since the Arab Spring, mostly street crimes such as petty theft and snatching of personal belongings. Criminals often target foreign visitors in areas popular with tourists, such as the Tunis Medina and central market areas. As with all destinations, there is a risk of theft. Theft from inside vehicles has also been recorded around the beach resort and tourist hotels. There is an increased presence of armed police, which can be slightly intimidating. However, this does allow you to travel around relatively safely in the city. There have been reported cases of women travelers being harassed by locals.