Tunisia allows Thomas Cook travelers to leave

World | 23 Sep 2019 7:23 pm

Tunisia’s government is offering assurances that Thomas Cook clients won’t be prevented from leaving the country, following British media reports that vacationers were blocked at a hotel because of a payment dispute.

Tunisia’s TAP news agency says the country’s tourism minister, Rene Trabelsi, intervened to resolve an issue that arose with British tourists who’d been staying in a hotel in the resort city of Hammamet.

The TAP report did not name the hotel, but a British vacationer told BBC radio on Sunday that the Les Orangers beach resort in Hammamet, near Tunis, demanded extra money from guests who were about to leave, for fear it wouldn’t be paid what it is owed by Thomas Cook.

Ryan Farmer said many tourists refused the demand, since they had already paid Thomas Cook, so security guards shut the hotel’s gates and “were not allowing anyone to leave.”

Farmer said it was like “being held hostage.”

But Tunisia’s Tourism Ministry, cited by TAP, denied Sunday that British tourists were sequestered at a Hammamet hotel. It said instead that “checkout procedures were delayed for a while at the request of the hotel keeper.”

It said the British group later checked out and flew home “after being given apologies for the delay.”

The ministry vowed that “no such problem of blockage will be repeated” and said it is coordinating with hotel owners and travel agencies “to ensure that all tourists leave Tunisia in the best conditions.”-AP

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