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North-east listed among most dangerous places for travel, tourism


Passengers waiting to board the Abuja-Kaduna train. SOURCE: Google

Protracted Boko Haram crisis in the North-eastern part of Nigeria has earned the region a place among the most dangerous places for tourists in the world.

A map designed to alert travellers of risks abroad showed the likes of Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Adamawa and Taraba States as dangerous to travellers, given political violence, including terrorism and insurgency, social unrest, violence and petty crime.

The tension and attendant risk to travellers’ safety, according to the rating, put Nigeria in the same class with Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, and Libya.


Travel and tourism stakeholders said the implication is that the entire country would find it more difficult to attract tourists to relatively peaceful regions in the country.

Already, despite its popularity, population, strategic location and natural sites, Nigeria is not among the top 12 tourism earning countries in Africa.

The annual interactive ‘Travel Risk Map’ reveals the countries where people are most likely to have trouble when it comes to road safety, security and medical matters.

Libya and Somalia are the most dangerous places on earth for 2020. The safest places have been labelled as Finland, Norway and Iceland – all Nordic countries.

Libya and Somalia both rank lowly in each of the three categories in the study – by international medical and security specialists International SOS – along with Afghanistan and Venezuela, meaning they are the most dangerous.

Places, where security risks are deemed insignificant, are Norway, Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Switzerland and Slovenia.

In contrast, Norway, Finland and Iceland are all labelled as having a low risk of medical problems, security and road safety issues, meaning they are the safest – along with the likes of Sweden and Greenland.

When it comes to health, countries with the highest risk of contracting medical issues or disease include African nations Niger, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, South Sudan, Eritrea and the Central African Republic.

Yemen was also labelled a high risk country when it came to health along with Syria and North Korea.

At the opposite end of the ranking, places with a low risk of disease are most of those in Europe, Canada, the U.S., New Zealand, Australia, South Korea and Japan.

When it comes to road safety, the countries besides those in Africa that pose the greatest risk include Venezuela, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Most of Europe is ranked as having a low risk, along with Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Alongside the Travel Risk Map, the Ipsos MORI ‘Business Resilience Trends Watch 2020’, found that 47 per cent of business travellers expect travel risks to increase in next year.

This is down from 51 per cent predicting risk increase in 2019.

Doug Quarry, MD at International SOS, said: “The threats facing organisations and their workforces are impacting established and emerging economies alike. It’s encouraging to see that decision makers are becoming increasingly aware of the threats of epidemics and infectious diseases.

“With over $1.7 trillion 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.”


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