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UK: Govenment Warnings? What Warnings?

British tourists take five million trips to unsafe countries  Aug 19, 2008

The Government currently warns against visiting areas in over 30 countries including Chad and Somalia plus parts of Kenya, India and certain areas in countries like Thailand, where it considers the southern provinces at risk from bombings.

Only half of the 1,990 adults interviewed by insurers LV= said they were aware of the FCO advice before they went but nearly half of the travellers who visited such areas ended up being victims of crime while they were away.

The survey shows that 16 per cent of younger travellers aged 18-24 are planning a trip to one of the places highlighted on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's "don't go" list.

The most common problems were aggressive begging, corrupt officials asking for bribes, lost or stolen luggage, local hostility, bomb scares and pick pocketing.

But a fifth of travellers said that the "holiday fear factor" was all part of the experience.

Emma Holyer, from LV, said: "As a nation we are getting more adventurous when it comes to our holidays and although it's great to see new places it's also very important travellers understand the risks they face if they are going to a potentially dangerous destination."

She warned that travel insurance companies could not provide cover if tourists travel to some areas that the Government had warned against visiting.

The findings also reveal travellers journeying closer to home are often unaware of potential dangers.

Only 13 per cent of visitors to Spain were able to identify it as a high terrorist risk - despite 10 million planning a visit in the next year.

British tourists take five million trips to unsafe countries

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