Lawyers for the families of Britons who lost their lives during the 2015 Sousse terrorist attack are accusing travel company TUI of failing their customers by ‘practically hiding’ Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) terror warnings from tourists.
Sousse Terror Attack
On 26 June 2015, hundreds of tourists were sunbathing on a private beach outside the Imperial Marhaba hotel in Sousse, Tunisia, when terrorist Seifeddine Rezgui opened fire with a Kalashnikov assault rifle. The 23-year-old electrical engineering student killed a total of 38 tourists, 30 of whom were British, in a spree that lasted around 40 minutes. Tunisian authorities shot Rezgui dead as he ran from the hotel.
The attack in Sousse came only three months after Islamist militants attacked the Bardo National Museum in Tunis, the Tunisian capital, killing 21 people.
TUI Accused of Hiding Terror Warnings
All 30 of the Britons who lost their lives in the Sousse terrorist attack booked their holiday through travel company TUI, which also owns Thomson holidays.
According to papers submitted in advance of the inquests resuming this week, lawyers for 20 of the families are to accuse TUI of “practically hiding and keeping out of the limelight” FCO warnings about terrorism in Tunisia.
Furthermore, the travel firm is also said to have sold travel insurance that excluded cancellation cover caused by terrorism risks to customers.
According to submissions by the families, TUI is said to have actively discouraged cancellation by charging those who decided to cancel due to learning of terrorist activities/risks, up to the full cost of their holiday.
Response from TUI
According to the documents, TUI is to argue that the measures it put in place at the time for forwarding travel advice were appropriate and that the Sousse attack changed the climate, to which they responded accordingly.
A TUI spokeswoman has said:
“TUI UK is taking a full and active role in the inquests into the deaths of the 30 British nationals killed during the terrorist attack in Sousse, Tunisia in June 2015.
“Like others, we want to understand the specific circumstances that led to this atrocity. We are cooperating with the coroner and will continue to do so, in order to help ensure that the tragic deaths of those killed can be thoroughly investigated, the relevant facts determined and any lessons learned. With the inquests about to be heard, we consider that it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”