Tourism Minister: Israeli tourists to Tunisia lacked visas

Tunisian Minister of Tourism Amel Karboul during an interview with foreign media on March 14, 2014 in Tunis

Tunisia’s tourism minister says the prevention of 14 Israeli tourists from entering the country was a procedural problem and shouldn’t detract from the North African nation’s openness to visitors.

On Sunday, Tunisian authorities prevented the Israelis from leaving a Norwegian Cruise Line ship, citing their lack of visas. The company said it would cancel future stops in Tunisia.

“Like all countries in the world, there are procedures that have to be followed to get visas or entry permissions which have nothing to do with certain nationalities,” Amel Karboul told journalists Friday.

Just a month into the job and the first woman to hold the post, Karboul is overseeing the slow recovery of this key industry that contributes 7.5% to GDP but was hit hard after the revolution.

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I wonder if the other passengers had visas. Seems quite an oversight on the part of the cruise liner, if they did not.