Dangerous travel destinations uncovered

Makati Skyline, Metro Manila in the Philippines
Makati Skyline, Metro Manila in the Philippines. The Philippines remain a popular destination despite the travel risks.

Tourism across the globe may be on the rise, but travellers should still have their wits about them warns security system supplier Alarms.org, as they release their alarmingly-titled report Most Dangerous Countries for Travel in 2019

The company releases statistics on the most dangerous countries for tourists based on a ‘dangerousness score’ that incorporates five factors: security, political conditions, the quality of medical help, environmental factors, and infrastructure.

“Each of these factors is determined using two or more quantitative variables and weighted based on their relevance to tourists,” the company explained. “Since tourists are typically visiting a country for a short duration, threats to their security are the most pressing, so that factor has been given a weight of 50 per cent, while the factors’ weights range from 10 to 15 per cent.”

A majority of the most dangerous countries for tourists are clustered in two main regions: the Near East and Sub-Saharan Africa, which together account for 25 of the top 30 most dangerous destinations in the world.

Countries in the Near East that contribute to its reputation as a dangerous region include: Pakistan (ranked most dangerous), Afghanistan (number two), Iraq (fourth), and Syria (eighth), which have experienced significant intervention by foreign militaries and as such has often increased instability in these nations. The high-count of active terrorist organisations in Pakistan and Afghanistan also contribute to this.

Sub-Saharan Africa, which hosts over half of the top 30 countries, is plagued by similar issues of violence and terrorism as those of the Near East (although to a slightly lesser degree), with the added concerns of a high risk of disease, lack of clean food and potable water, and poor infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the high homicide rates in El Salvador (+22.6 per 100,000 rise in homicides over the last year) places it as the fifth most dangerous, and those in Honduras, takes the country up to number nine. These contribute to a high ranking for Central America.

The report also detailed those countries that remained heavily visited tourist hotspots despite the risks include: Egypt (number 19), India (number 24) and the Philippines (number 26) and Alarms.org advised that travellers are informed of the risks and prepare accordingly.

Indeed, it is important for travel insurers to educate consumers on the risks of travelling, and also update their policies accordingly. Staying updated on the dangers associated with different destinations and keeping on top of the ever-changing risk landscape will prove to be the most effective method of maintaining customer satisfaction and avoiding unnecessary costs.

Read the full report here.