Ever since the 2011 revolution against the Arab Spring, convincing people to vacation in the North African country of Tunisia has been a hard sell. The March 18 attack against visitors of the Bardo art museum didn’t exactly help matters, but a cry for unity is being voiced through social media sites under the banner of #JeSuisBardo to try and bring a nation together even under the threat of terrorism.
Fox Business reports that an online campaign has been launched, using #JeSuisBardo, French for “I Am Bardo,” to rally support in the country, with many taking to social media to make promises of visiting Tunisia in retaliation for the killings.
The slogan #JeSuisBardo echoes the solidarity movement from the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January. Supporters are trying to create the same feeling of unity in the country, but from the initial numbers, visits to Tunisia are already dropping, and are expected to decline even further throughout the season.
Two major cruise liners have already suspended ports of call to the country. Both Costa Crociere and MSC Cruises are by passing Tunisia and heading to Malta, Palma de Mallorca, Sardinia, or Corfu, Greece to dock.
Before the attacks, during a cruise line corporate meeting in Miami, when asked what was their biggest competitor in the cruise line business, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio was quoted as saying the following.
“[The biggest] threat is the geopolitical environment. We just cross our fingers that our ships aren’t there. Events you cannot control. that’s the biggest threat.”
While cruise liners are seeking to protect their reputation and passengers through bypassing the country, security alerts are being issued from a number of countries, asking their citizens to at least avoid the scene of the attacks. As reported by the International Business Times, the U.S. embassy, along with Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, have issued alerts warning of the possibility of additional violence in the area along with potential kidnappings.
As reported by the Inquisitr, two of the suspects that were involved in the Bardo museum attack were killed by local security forces, while a third suspect is still at large. Tunis Prime Minister Habib Essid is calling for unity in defending his country from what he calls ” a cowardly attack mainly targeting the economy of Tunisia.” Hopefully, those crying “Je Suis Bardo” will make good on their social media promises and visit the country before even more confidence in the nation’s ability to keep visitors safe erodes further.