In the wake of the recent assault on a Russian passenger flight in Sinai, a committee of experts from the ministry of transport, the inner ministry and Tunisian flight companies has decided to increase security checks on all flights and Tunisian airports to warrant a higher level of safety for all passengers. Tunisian tourism industry is likely to feel the negative impact of the recent incident as other countries in the region.
Russia has suspended all commercial flights in and out of Egypt following the recent crash. This has plunged the region's tourism industry into a fresh crisis, which could see them lose millions of dollars in revenue. According to travel experts, the new crisis will make it hard for the region's tourism sectors to benefit from the current shift in travel patterns.
Britain has also suspended flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, the departure point of the ill-fated airplane. All the 224 passengers on board the plane were killed when it came down. While the clear cause of the crash is still to be established, available evidence suggests that a bomb was planted inside the plane by terrorists.
The suspension of flights has affected many popular tourist destinations, including Hurghada and even Cairo, the Egyptian Capital. It is not yet clear how long they will remain suspended, with the Russian government saying it could take several months for the flights to resume. The government has defended their decision, saying it was done as a security precaution.
While there are still a few countries, for example, Germany, which have not suspended flights or issued travel warnings, the Egyptian tourism industry expects a severe drop in the number of tourists due to security concerns. This decline in tourist numbers is expected to cause the industry to lose over $260 million each month in revenues.
This is not the first time that North African tourism industries are in crisis due to security concerns. Egypt has experienced a significant decline in the number of tourists visiting the country due to political and security issues. In 2014, about 9.9 million tourists entered the country, compared to 14.7 million tourists who visited in 2010, before the start of Arab Spring uprisings.
There is also a similar situation in other Northern African countries, with most of them experiencing a drop in the number of tourists due to security concerns. Earlier this year, Tunisia tourism industry was in a similar crisis after two terrorist attacks that left several people dead. Morocco is also yet to recover from a 2011 terror attack that left 17 people dead.