Tunisia tourism slumps, Spanish hotel chain considers pullout after extremist attacks

Industries Associated Press

A leading Spanish hotel operator is considering pulling out of Tunisia after extremist attacks that killed 59 tourists and devastated the Tunisian tourism industry.

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RIU said in a statement Monday that it is in talks with owners of the nine properties it currently operates in Tunisia about their future. RIU operated the Imperial Marhaba Hotel targeted in a deadly attack in Sousse in June.

Tunisian Hotel Federation chief Radhouane Ben Salah told The Associated Press that RIU's decision was prompted by difficulty in marketing Tunisia to tourists after the attacks. He said about 50 of the country's 600 hotels have already closed since the attacks.

Tunisia's tourism minister said Sunday that the number of visitors has dropped 20 percent so far this year to 4 million.