Tourism

Research: Most Aussies unaware of government travel warnings

New research has revealed just how little heed Aussies take of travel warnings for international destinations.

A survey by InsureandGo presented 11 destinations with travel warnings to a panel of 1000 Australians, and found that 60 per cent believed that at least one country with a travel warning was safe for travel.

InsureandGo analysed the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) Smartraveller website to compile a list of countries with travel warnings: Belgium, Egypt, Morocco, India, Mexico, South Africa, Peru, Brazil, Philippines, Nepal and Thailand.

Survey respondents were asked if any of the destinations were considered ‘safe’ for travel, revealing most participants thought Belgium was percieved as the destination that posed the least risk.

However, the Australian Government advises travellers to ‘exercise a high degree of caution’.

Since the terrorist attack at Brussels National Airport in March 2016, the government has issued warnings to Australians to be on high alert for potential security threats in places with a high concentration of people.

Thailand, which welcomes around half a million Australian visitors each year, was considered the next ‘safest’ country to travel to (by volume of respondents).

However, DFAT warns Aussies to ‘exercise a high degree of caution’ when travelling there and places some areas, like the provinces of Yala, Pattani and Songkhla, under a ‘do not travel’ classification.

The third lowest-risk destination chosen was the Philippines, even though the government advises Australians travelling to the Philippines ‘exercise a high degree of caution’ overall.

Capture

InsureandGo has also provided these handy tips for travellers headed for medium-to-high-risk countries.

1. Be aware of the safety warnings of the countries you’re travelling to. The first rule of safe travel is to not be ignorant about where you are going.

Before you book travel to any overseas destination, check Smartraveller. As with any country classified as high risk, if you travel against government advice, it could invalidate a travel insurance claim.

2. Keep your belongings safe. Petty crimes, such as theft and pick-pocketing, are common in Belgium, Thailand and South American countries.

Have your belongings with you at all times, and make sure you carry a bag that seals completely and can’t be easily snatched from your body. Have your wits about you; turning your back for a second can leave you open to theft.

3. Respect local customs. Gestures, behaviour and clothing that are acceptable in Australia may be unsafe in other countries.

In Thailand, for instance, more than 90 per cent of the population adheres to Buddhism, so there are some customs you should be aware of while travelling. Engaging in offensive or sacrilegious behaviour in relation to God, Buddha or Thai Royalty can result in imprisonment.

Most temples will require males and females to be covered in long clothing, while public displays of affection and using your left-hand for most actions is considered rude.

4. Exercise caution if partaking in adventurous activities. While scooters are common in South-East Asian countries, if you plan on hiring one, ensure you wear a helmet – even if it isn’t required in that country.

Most travel insurers will require you to wear one in order to be covered. Ensure you also declare any planned high-risk activities or sports to your travel insurer to ensure you are covered in the case of an incident.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Travel Agents

Flight Centre granted loan extension

There was reportedly a great deal of cheering and yahooing coming from Skroo’s office this morning. Discover the cause here.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Travelling family cop jail time over fake illness claims against tour operator

These halfwit travellers posted pics of themselves enjoying their holiday on social media, and even gave positive feedback about their trip via a survey, despite claiming to be ill.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Your ultimate agent guide to WA’s Margaret River region

by Sponsored by Tourism Western Australia

Have you always pretended to know everything about the Margaret River region to your clients, despite having never actually been there? Continue the facade with this.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Marriott to more than double all-inclusive portfolio through new deal

Just like the waistline of Travel Weekly’s editor, Marriott’s all-inclusive portfolio of hotels and resorts is expanding.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Meet Rob, the world’s first humanoid robotic bartender at sea

Do you live in fear that one day you will be replaced in your job by a robot? Well, if you’re a bartender on a cruise ship, sadly that day has arrived.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

ACCC backs reauthorisation of Qantas-American Airlines alliance

It looks like Alan Joyce and Doug Parker will be buying each other anniversary gifts for the next few years.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Topdeck responds to allegations of “alarming and unscrupulous corporate conduct”

by Ali Coulton

Topdeck has come under fire from a few customers over what they are claiming to be some dodgy rebooking tactics by the Flight-Centre-owned brand.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

REVEALED: The top-selling souvenir from every country in the world

From camel hair rugs and daggers, to marionettes and worry beads, this study has uncovered exactly which souvenirs travellers are most likely to come home with.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Event Hospitality & Entertainment creates new collection of independent hotels

The company has a new brand for its indy hotels to sit under, which is held up by four pillars (metaphorically speaking, of course).

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

New executive officer appointed for Cultural Attractions of Australia

Do you happen to work at Cultural Attractions of Australia and have recently noticed a fresh face wandering the office hallway? Discover their name and more here.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Aurora Expeditions to launch new Aussie voyages for domestic travellers

The Aussie-owned cruise company is getting ready for a new and unique domestic travel program, which will kick off in June.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

IN PICTURES: Virgin Australia unveils “lounge of the future” at Adelaide Airport

Much to Travel Weekly’s disappointment, the new lounge doesn’t feature robot butlers. However, it does have plenty of bright greenery and ambient lighting.

Share

CommentComments