Travel is a major part of life for many Britons, with 71.7 million visits overseas by UK residents in 2018 alone. However, travelling abroad carries its own set of risks. These perils are only heightened when jetting off to certain destinations. A new ‘Travel Risk Map’ has revealed the most dangerous countries in the world, would you risk travelling to them?
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The new interactive ‘Travel Risk Map’ from International SOS reveals that the most dangerous countries on earth right now include Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan, and Venezuela.
Meanwhile, safety havens include Finland, Norway and Denmark.
The map ranks global destinations based on a series of factors including road safety, security and medical.
International SOS collated information regarding medical insurance risks and claims to determine the results.
Factors included infectious disease burden, environmental factors, medical evacuation data, road trauma data, standard of emergency medical services, outpatient and inpatient medical care, access to quality pharmaceutical supplies, and cultural, language or administrative barriers.
In terms of medical risk, some of the most dangerous countries are African nations Libya, Niger, Guinea, Central African Republic, and Eritrea, as well as Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Venezuela.
Security risk factors were also assessed, with Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Mali posing “extreme” risk for travellers.
Venezuela, Egypt, Pakistan and Kenya also featured among those rate as “high risk”.
Road safety in a huge portion of Africa, as well as Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Venezuela are flagged for their high mortality rate in road traffic accidents.
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However, there was good news for the majority of western Europe, as well as North America and Australia.
Travellers in Europe have the lowest risk when it comes to medical concerns, with the Southeastern country of Kosovo, sandwiched between Montenegro and Bulgaria, the only country posing a “high” risk.
In terms of security, the majority of Europe was “low risk”, however, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway and Finland were marked green in this category.
Finally, when it comes to road safety, the countries with the lowest mortality rates included those in Europe, the U.S and Australia.
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The research also uncovered some of the top reasons for travel disruptions.
According to International SOS security threats, civil unrest, geopolitical unrest, and natural disasters are among the heavy hitters.
Along with these, epidemics, infectious diseases and detention and kidnapping are on the rise.
David Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Security Services, said: “Instability, unpredictability, rapid change and escalation are the key characteristics of many incidents in our modern world.”
Doug Quarry, MD, International SOS, said: “With over $1.7trillion expected to be invested by organisations by 2022, without taking into account human capital and productivity impacts of travel disruption, it’s important that organisations get ahead of whatever potential disruption they can.
“With accurate information, tools and support in place, organisations should, and can, plan for the anticipated risks and safeguard their investment and their people.”
For travellers who are planning to visit one of the countries that rank above average in terms of risk should be sure to invest in adequate travel insurance.
Covering everything from medical costs to lost luggage, insurance will ensure holidaymakers aren’t left with eye-watering fees and can repatriate should danger or disruption strike.
Travel expert and CEO of UseMyBooking.com, Melonie Dando, advised: “Be sure to shop around and find the best travel insurance for your needs.
“If you’ve got the travel bug and tend to go abroad more than three times per year, arming yourself with annual cover is bound to cost you less than separate policies per trip.
“Another key tip when taking out a travel insurance policy is choosing the best excess per claim in the event you may have to cancel your trip.”
Meanwhile, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office offers up-to-date advice based on national security for British travellers.
Britons are advised to keep an eye on unfolding developments and warnings from the government.
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