Tunisia Tourist officials have said the country is returning to calm and it is preparing to welcome back visitors.

The UK foreign Office has still put a travel ban in place following violent demonstrations that saw the overthrow of the government last week.

The big two operators Thomas Cook and Tui Travel have cancelled flights into February awaiting a change of advice from the government.

Anissa Ramoundi, the UK & Ireland director for The Tunisian National Tourist Office, said with free elections in sight calm was returning.

“The situation in Tunisia has calmed down and we are hopeful that the FCO will amend its travel advice soon. The curfew is shortening daily and many of the country’s most popular tourist resorts are operating normally. 

“The tourist areas of Yasmine Hammamet and Port El Kantaoui were unaffected by the protests and calm is being restored across other areas.”

The UK market is vitally important for Tunisia. Last year saw an unprecedented rise in UK visitors with 353,282 arrivals, up 28% on 2009 and exceeding its previous record of 350,000 in 2006.

“This is a significant milestone in Tunisia’s history and Tunisians are looking forward to a more prosperous future” continued Ramoundi.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received from tour operators and trade during this challenging time, and I hope we can continue to work together to bring more visitors to this beautiful country in the very near future.”