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After Two Years, Tunisia's Kantaoui Bay Reopens After Terrifying History

Travelers Today       By    JC Santos

Updated: Apr 25, 2017 06:39 AM EDT

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Tunisia, imperial marhaba hotel, kantaoui bay, kantaoui bay reopening, imperial marhaba shooting, imperial marhaba hotel terrorist shooting

Imperial Marhaba Hotel rebrands itself as the Kantaoui Bay in Tunisia during its reopening this year to shed off stigmatizing sentiments regarding its previous brand. A gunman killed thirty-eight British holidaymakers in June 2015, making the Imperial Marhaba Hotel a symbol of terror and fear. Its new brand and management hopes for a brighter future and a less dark history for the new holiday destination in the country.

According to The Telegraph UK, Imperial Marhaba Hotel, now known Kantaoui Bay owner Zohra Driss said one never forgets the victims and the families and carried these sentiments during the reopening of the hotel. To remove the stigma and bloodstained history of the hotel, Driss had changed "nearly everything" including all furniture, garden designs, walkway scheme, decor and the colors of the hotel. The hotel rebranding had cost about six million Tunisian dinars ($2.4 million).

Despite the closure of the hotel, Driss and the new management had enabled the 200 employees of the hotel to retain their jobs. The rebranding and reopening of the hotel can also enable the employees to remove the stain of the 38 Britons killed during the 2015 massacre. The employees have attended the anniversary of the attack, emotional with the relishing of memories.

It was in June 2015 that Seifeddine Rezgui casually walked into the former Imperial Marhaba Hotel and without warning shot at British holidaymakers without warning. It was noted as the deadliest shooting and terrorist act against Britain since the 2005 London Tube bombings. According to Arab News, the Islamic militant group ISIS, called "Daesh" on the news website, claimed responsibility for the attack done by Rezgui

The new management for Kantaoui Bay is German-based hotel group Steigenberger. The hotel development and management group also has hotels in Brussels, Frankfurt and Sharm el Sheikh in Turkey. The new management recognizes the tragedy and honors it with a specially made plaque made in memorial to the 38 victims of the attack in the front of the hotel's beaches.

According to a government representative, the hotel's reopening is a "breath of rebirth." The head gardener of 23 years in Kantaoui Bay said everyone was happy with the reopening of the hotel. First visitors to the hotel noted the increase in security presence, an effort from both the hotel and the government, which guaranteed safety for new tourists

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