01:47 GMT12 August 2020
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    While the flow of European tourists to Tunisia has dwindled since last year’s terrorist attacks, Russian vacationers are busily filling the void, RTS news service reported.

    The March 2015 attacks on at the Bardo Museum in Tunis and on a beach in Sousse in June severely undermined local tourism, which provided employment for every one in ten of those living in the once peaceful North African country.

    However, an influx of Russian tourists has been a real godsend for the Tunisians, RTS wrote.

    "Before the attacks we used to have 350 British tourists staying here during this time of year,” an employee of a large beach resort said. "Currently, we have 135 clients, all of them Russians. Without them we would have been forced to close down,” he added.

    “We are not scared,” a Russian vacationer said, having in mind a police station outside each and every hotel and two military vehicles escorting every tour bus shuttling between airports and local hotels.

    “You Europeans spend too much time watching TV. You should try to find out what is really happening here instead of trusting everything newspapers are telling you,” a Russian tourist said.

    Tourists basking in the hot sun of the Tunisian beaches will have to get used to the presence of armed guards standing close by, RTS wrote, adding that Russians had been accustomed to such a sight.

    “NATO bombed Libya and Tunisians had to pay the bill because they wanted to play geopolitics,” a local guide complained.

    “I feel angry about the Europeans. They abandoned us and that was not a nice thing to do. The Russians are more pragmatic and sober minded,” he added.

    "Our tourists are fearless adventurers. They are too much in love with the sun to give it up,” a representative of a Russian tour agency explained. Everyone who planned to go to Egypt or Turkey will be heading here now.”

    Ankara’s unfortunate decision to shoot down a Russian bomber in November gave Tunisians “a unique chance to host 7 million Russian tourists who would have otherwise preferred cheaper and closer places where to spend their vacations,” he added.

    Related:

    Tunisia Seeking Return of Russian Tourists After 2015 Drop in Arrivals
    Russia, Tunisia to Boost Ties Via Parliamentary Exchange
    Tags:
    geopolitics, armed guards, filling the void, 2015 attacks, Russian tourists, NATO, Tunisia
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