Spain looks set to be the biggest beneficiary from a mass move to switch holidays in Tunisia to safer destinations in the sun.
Tourism in Tunisia was on its way to recovery after the Arab Spring unrest of 2011 with 2.8 million tourists visiting the country last year according to official statistics.
However, last month's attack which saw 38 holidaymakers killed by an Islamist gunman – mostly Britons – has added to mounting security fears and heralded mass-avoidance of Tunisian resort areas.
Spain is expected to gain the most from this shift in destination because the country targets a similar type of tourist to those travelling to Tunisia – those seeking a value for money all-inclusive holiday in the sun.
Chairman of the Spanish Hotel Federation Juan Molas said: " It's clear that some tourists will now change Tunisia for continental Spain or the Canary Islands but they will have to pay more, " commenting on the difficulty in finding last-minute flights and accommodation in Spanish resorts.
The biggest groups of European tourists to Tunisia come from France, Britain and Germany. The British Foreign Office advised all nationals to leave Tunisia on July 9th, forcing a mass evacuation of tourists and British expats in the country and have since advised against all non-essential travel to Tunisia.
For those British holidaymakers left stranded at the last minute with summer bookings in Tunisia, they have been forced to look elsewhere for their summer holiday. Spain is the natural second choice in this scenario because of the country's perennial popularity with British holidaymakers.
Spain enjoyed a record-breaking year in its tourism sector in 2014 and looks set to break them all again in 2015. Availability of short-term accommodation has been difficult since around March this year as Brits book their holidays ahead of the crowds.
No doubt the dust will settle in Tunisia's market and its popularity with British holidaymakers will return once again. The country's enduring appeal can only be resisted by tourists for so long, after all.
Article by Roxanne James