Is Tunisia safe in 2019? If you’re considering traveling to Tunisia, the safety question may be one you’re asking. As a travel company, this question is absolutely important, and we frequently evaluate it. We also understand it’s a crucial question for travelers to get a fair answer to. In this post I’m going to talk about the broader context in Tunisia and the factors that point to a generally secure environment in the country.
Three Important Notes About Safety and Security
Before I discuss Tunisia specifically, here are three points to keep in mind about safety and security in general:
1. In most situations there’s no such thing as absolute safety, and that’s ok.
In life we accept low levels of risk every day, like driving a car or eating food prepared by someone else. We know that the risk in these situations is relatively low and is worth accepting because the benefits significantly outweigh the risk.
This point isn’t to dismiss security concerns about a country. Rather, it’s an encouragement to employ the same mode of thinking wherever we are — and realize we don’t need to achieve 100% security before making a decision.
2. Our sense of safety is important, and greatly impacts how we experience any given situation.
We feel unsafe in situations we perceive as having a high risk of incident and safe in situations that seem to be relatively low risk.
This sense of safety is particularly important when you travel — you won’t be able to relax and enjoy your time if you don’t feel safe. The good news is that we can increase our sense of safety by better informing ourselves. When our mind understands what the risks are and puts them into perspective, its fight and flight mode calms down and our sense of safety increases.
3. A more helpful way to answer the safety question is to look at the macro-environment of the country.
It’s better to evaluate risks in light of this macro-environment. The question “Is it safe?” encourages a black-white answer that often doesn’t leave room for analysis and discussion. We need to be asking more helpful questions, such as: “What is the political landscape like?”, “How capable is the security apparatus?”, “How have other travelers experienced safety in the country?”, and “What’s the general attitude of the local population towards travelers/Westerners?”
Asking these questions gives us a wider understanding and perspective from which we can make a decision.
Is Tunisia Safe? The Broader Context in Tunisia – 6 Important Factors
When we evaluate safety in Tunisia as a travel destination for our tours, we look to several factors that point to a generally safe environment for travelers.
1. Tunisia has a strong central government with a united security force. It has complete control over its sovereign territory, and the security forces actively monitor and patrol every region of the country. This means that even if you’re exploring southern Tunisia, you’ll be in an area that the authorities are patrolling and protecting.
2. The government is united in its determination to protect the country from threats. In the case of Tunisia, this refers mainly to extremist activity.
3. Since the tourism industry is so vital to Tunisia’s economy, the government has a strong incentive to protect travelers. It also has a specific plan to do so. In recent years, the government has poured major resources and training into heightening security. In addition, in every region of the country there is a dedicated security force for the safety of travelers.
4. Extremists, though they do exist, are a very small minority. They are vastly outnumbered by the country’s security forces.
5. Guns are strictly regulated, and for the most part prohibited in Tunisia. This makes a huge difference in the security context compared to countries with less regulated gun laws. In addition, Tunisia hasn’t experienced an armed conflict in its modern history, so there aren’t large amounts of unregulated weapons in the country.
6. Tunisians throughout the country are very welcoming and friendly towards visitors. Many of our travelers have mentioned this about Tunisians, and it makes for both a great experience in the country and adds to the sense of security.
On a personal note, I’ve lived in Tunisia for several years, and I experience life here as very normal. As in most parts of the world, people go to work and school, and they do what they can to make a living. The thing most Tunisians dream about is raising a family, working a steady job, and helping the next generation build a more prosperous future.
If you have any questions about traveling to Tunisia, please feel free to contact us! We can also craft a personal itinerary and quote for a tour of Tunisia with Engaging Cultures.
**The information in this article is not a guarantee of safety, and is not meant to be a recommendation for travel. Rather, it is meant to give helpful perspective on the situation in Tunisia based on common knowledge and our experience traveling throughout Tunisia.