The English traveller often falls back on the English Foreign Travel Advice (FCO) for… well holiday advice. But the FCO world is a scary place, everywhere is either horrible, diseased, full of terrorists, robbers, protesters, guns, drugs… you get the idea. It has become the ‘google self-diagnosis’ for holidays; if you start googling the symptoms of your illness you will soon find you have cancer rather than a simple cold! The point is, if you look for trouble, you will find it and ABTA/ATOLS fear-mongering hasn’t helped. Bonding schemes have actually created insecurities rather than security and a trust issue amongst customers. Furthermore, due to the media, outbreaks like Ebola not only hurt the epicentre but also the surrounding countries, although a serious concern the Zika virus is starting to echo this effect.
Tourism seems to have become a paradox, it used to be the industry of fun and enjoyment but has turned into an industry of fear and worry.
The FCO plays a key role in this process by helping English tourists decide where not to travel. I decided to find out how ridiculous it would be if I strictly followed the FCO advice. The process highlighted some really ridiculous statements. For an example in Bolivia apparently ‘there is a risk of express kidnappings’… I think if you’re really worried about this you must be either royalty or have a very high self-esteem. I visited a few years ago and saw some incredible views, encountered very unusual culture, saw flamingos but not one kidnapping… And thank god there is a low threat to terrorism in Antarctica, I knew penguins were friendly, but remember you can never be too sure unless you check the FCO website!
But before we get to the exciting bit of where we can go on holiday I just need to explain a bit of boring technical stuff. Firstly, the places in Blue are not mentioned in the FCO website or I didn’t think the FCO advice applied. If the country is in red then tourists are likely to be worried about visiting a country due to warnings.
Even though a country has been ‘declared Ebola transmission free by the World Health Organisation’ it will still be placed in red. Just the word is enough to put the hibigeebies in any traveller. To be honest I should have really put the whole of Africa in red for this reason. If it states that ‘there is an underlining threat of terrorism’ and a ‘general threat from terrorism’ or a ‘high threat of terrorism’ then this in the ‘red’. If the FCO states there is a low threat to terrorism or there is no threat I have included this country on the safe list below. I accept it is oversimplified but its supposed to just give you an idea of how ridiculous the world of travel has become.
So let’s go on holiday…. and what a choice we have! YAY!
Of course, it is only fair to include the safe destinations. Do not be fooled, many are small islands states which required googling.
Safe Countries – Antarctica, Anguilla, Aruba, American Samoa, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Brunei, Barbados, Bhutan, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cape Verde, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Estonia, The Falklands Islands, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Grenada Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Japan, Kiribati, Laos, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Macao, Marshall Islands, Mayotte, Micronesia, Malawi, Malta, Martinique, Mauritius, Mongolia, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Nauru, Poland, Palau, Réunion, Solomon Islands, South Korea, St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, St Lucia, St Pierre & Miquelon, Swaziland, Switzerland, Sao Tome and Principe, San Marino, Seychelles, Slovenia, South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands, St Kitts, St. Maarten, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Taiwan, Togo, Tonga The Turks and Caicos Islands, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna Islands, Zimbabwe