Tunisia: Ministry & travel agents at odds over pilgrimages

16 April, 15:34

(ANSAmed) - TUNIS, APRIL 16 - It's a war of numbers with official statements exchanged between the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Tunisian federation of travel agents over the costs of pilgrimages to the Muslim holy sites, an issue of crucial importance in Tunisia which involves tens of thousands of worshipers each year. The umrah, or "little pilgrimage", will begin on April 26th this year. In recent days, the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which deals with the bureaucratic issues surrounding pilgrimages, set the cost of travel from Tunisia to Saudi Arabia to start at 1380 dinars (approximately 690 euros). But the federation of Tunisian travel agents denied the news with a strongly-worded official statement which explained that the cost for pilgrimages will start at 1475 dinars (approximately 740 dinars), since the figure issued by the ministry did not calculate expenses involving guides. The federation also explained that this does not account for additional costs that could be found in flights to and from the holy sites, operated by Tunisair and Saudi Airlines, which cover the route. (ANSAmed).

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