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United Kingdom Travel Warning

US State Department travel advisory: London is a dangerous place for travelers

Yusof Sulaiman, Special to eTN  Jan 02, 2009

Be prepared for dangers from spiked drinks, derailed trains and walking in parks after dark. In some third world countries? No, it is in London, the world's last bastion of personal freedom.

The US State Department has issued an official travel advisory that will equally apply to every country's citizen intending to travel to London, and the UK on the threat of crimes.

The "catalogue of dangers" facing tourists in the capital city which could further hit UK's tourism industry include rapes by unlicensed cab drivers, muggings and ATM scams.

"The advisory is vital to ensure travelers are well-prepared," insist the State Department travel advisory. "Despite its excellent overall safety record, British trains have poor track conditions, resulting in train derailments, including some fatalities."

A CBS News poll in 2006 asking respondents how safe they feel showed 54 percent of Americans say they feel generally safe, while 46 percent say they feel somewhat uneasy, or in danger. "World terrorism has caused a decline in the number of US visitors to the UK, resulting in losses to hotels and major attractions."

Admitting London tourism has suffered since the 2005 London bombings, and more recent terrorist attacks, Laura Porter, a London-based travel writer, said, "This showed opinions were still divided but I am pleased to see optimism is starting to win out. World terrorism can make visitors feel unsafe."

"We provide advice to citizens so they will be well-prepared," added the State Department advisory.

US State Department travel advisory: London is a dangerous place for travelers
Photograph by Nelson Alcantara

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