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Tunisia attack: Travel industry has changed, says TUI boss

The managing director of the UK branch of tour operator TUI has said the company's "deepest sympathies" are with the families of the victims of the Sousse terror attack.

Nick Longman added that since "that tragic day" TUI has taken steps to raise awareness of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) Travel Aware campaign which aims to highlight travel advice issued by the FCO for different countries.

Speaking outside the Royal Courts of Justice following the ending of the inquest into the attack which left 30 Britons dead, Mr Longman said:

What happened on that tragic day on June 26, 2015, in Tunisia shocked and devastated all of us.

"Our immediate heartfelt condolences went to the families and friends of those so tragically affected.

"On behalf of everyone at TUI UK, I would like to again extend our deepest sympathy.

"We are so very sorry for the pain and loss those affected have suffered.

“Over these last few weeks we have heard very personal and very moving accounts of what happened during and after the terrorist attack.

“We have played a full and active role throughout the process of the Inquests and we, like others, wanted to understand the specific circumstances surrounding these tragic events.

“We have now heard the Coroner’s findings and his comments regarding the provision of security and visibility of travel advice.

"These are complex matters and we have already taken steps to raise awareness of the FCO’s Travel Aware campaign.

"Together with the travel industry in light of these comments we must now take some time to further reflect on these areas.

“On that day the world changed. As an industry we have adapted and we will need to continue to do so.

"This terrorist incident has left its mark on all of us and its impact will always be remembered.”

Mr Longman stressed that TUI now includes links "on almost every page" of its website and travel brochures linking to the FCO advice, and that its employees are trained on how to give advice.

Tunisia attack: Families to sue tour operator TUI

Some of the relatives of the victims of the Sousse terror attack in Tunisia have said they will sue tour operator TUI, after a coroner ruled all 30 Britons were "unlawfully killed".

The announcement came after coroner Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith rejected calls from some relatives to rule that neglect by travel firm TUI or the owners of the Rui Imperial Merhaba Hotel in Sousse played a role in the deaths.

Some of the families believe TUI failed to ensure adequate security at the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel where the attack took place.

Lawyer for the families Kylie Hutchinson read a statement on behalf of the families outside of the Royal Courts of Justice in London: "It is now crucial that the whole travel industry learns from what happened in Sousse to reduce the risk of similar catastrophic incidents in the future.

"On behalf of our clients who lost members of their family and those who suffered injuries in this terrible incident, we will now be preparing to commence civil proceedings against TUI.

"During the past seven weeks, both the coroner and the families we represent heard shocking evidence about the level of security precautions at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel at the time of the terrorist attack.

"The level of terrorist threat in Tunisia had been escalating for some time prior to June 2015.

"This includes the failed suicide bomb attack at a beach in Sousse.

"Then, following the terrifying events at the Bardo Museum in March 2015, the Tunisian minister of tourism issued a letter requiring all hotels to improve security measures.

"Tragically these steps were not implemented at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel."

She said tour operator TUI had said it was "unaware" of the letter.

The families praised the work of the coroner who they said had been "fair and thorough" and ensured the families came first.

Tunisia attack inquest: Relatives listen to coroner in tears

Relatives arrive ahead of the hearing. Credit: PA

The relatives of the victims of the Sousse terror attack in Tunisia fought back tears as Judge Loraine-Smith ruled on each of the dead in alphabetical order.

Speaking at the inquest at the Royal Courts of Justice, Judge Loraine-Smith said: "At approximately 11.45am on the morning of June 26, 2015, a terrorist who was armed with a high-velocity firearm and improvised explosive devices began shooting at the tourists who were on the beach at the rear of the Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel in Sousse in the Republic of Tunisia.

"The terrorist moved from the beach into the grounds and inside of the hotel."

ITV News' Becky Kelly attended the inquest.

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