Call it opportourism: package holidays to strife-torn resort towns that are being heavily discounted by up to 55 per cent.
After 38 people were shot dead on a sunny beach in Tunisia last week, bookings at four- and five-star resorts have begun to flag – and the bargains for willing tourists are piling up.
It has been said that fortune favours the bold, but there are several good reasons not to go to Tunisia, Egypt or Kolkata.
But if sun is king and money is a problem then these beaches beckon.
While Tunisia was considered relatively safe in the north of Africa, that all changed when gunman Seifeddine Rezgui took to the beach at Sousse in June with an AK-47 to kill 38 people and injure dozens more. Eight people with direct links to the massacre have since been arrested.
Meanwhile, at the capital Tunis, gunmen stormed the Bardo Museum in March and killed 21 tourists. A policeman was also killed in the attack.
Brave travellers who are up for the risk can buy an all-expenses paid week at the Marhaba Resort where the June attack occurred, and get a 43 per cent discount. Discounts up to 55 per cent on some package deals are also on offer.
The country is rich with attractions, like the ancient Roman ruins of Carthage, and film lovers often seek out the site of Tatooine, the fictional planet where Luke Skywalker was raised in the movie Star Wars.
Tunisia was the first to embrace democracy in 2010 amid the Arab Spring, but has since fed Islamic State ranks with at least 3000 of its youth, according to interior ministry figures, of which 500 have returned.
Since the Egyptian Revolution in 2011, tourism at its world-famous monuments, like the pyramids of Giza, has dropped to five per cent of its 2010 figure, according to the Guardian.
On Wednesday a militant attack on Egyptian troops on the Sinai Peninsula killed more than 100 people among a string of attacks that have seen more than 600 die, BBC reports.
It’s no surprise that the package deal prices have tumbled. Thomas Cook is offering between 25-40 per cent discounts on their all-inclusive four-star offers.
Industrial, slum-ridden Kolkata on India’s northeast coast is only $335 each way in airfares, and cheap as chips once there.
But the West Bengal state does battle with an estimated 40,000 Maoist rebels who have been trying to create a Chinese-style communist region since the 1960s, using terrorism to get their way.
But it’s not just these infrequent but deadly attacks, this is India where risk-averse travellers are not welcome.
A walk down the street means running the gauntlet of beggars and thieves, and a having a bite to eat could mean days sick in bed. One helpful traveller reported that the traffic is “ridiculous”.
“I couldn’t take the exhaust fumes after a few minutes and I could actually feel the burning down my throat,” they said.
But the intrepid will be rewarded with a cosmopolitan, artistic and cultural city rich with colonial British gems.