Defiant tourists: Tunisia still safe

(CNN)The June 26 beach resort massacre in Tunisia will deal a massive blow to the country’s tourism industry, but while many visitors have chosen to switch or cut short their travel plans, there are others who insist on staying.

Deserted sands in front of the Riu Imperial Marhaba hotel, where at least 38 mainly British people were killed, convey the grief and horror experienced in the wake of the incident.

They’re also likely to be symbolic of the tough times ahead for Tunisia, where a vital tourism recovery in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings had already been dented by a deadly attack in March on tourists at a museum in the capital, Tunis.

Not all is lost though.

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For some visitors to Tunisia, the killings have provoked a defiant response. Scared and still grieving for their fellow vacationers, some have refused offers from travel companies to bring them back early and opted to stay.

Others, offered the chance to cancel future plans, have declined, insisting the country is still relatively safe — and now, more than ever, needs their support.