Around the world, tragic events occur. As a result, international visitors are often put off visiting those countries – but, a lot of the time, this hesitation is unfounded and it is in fact safe to travel.
So, rather than shy away from such places, I want to set the record straight for six countries where recent events shouldn’t put you off visiting.
I haven’t been to Iran yet but it is high up near the top of my list.
Any uncertainty about visiting Colombia is due to its past. Back in the 80s and 90s, Colombia was Pablo Escobar’s territory and crime rates were high. Things are different now. The country is no longer ruled by the gun and all the big cities, including Medellin and Cartagena, have cleaned up their act.
Nowadays, travellers can visit and experience great food, friendly locals, adventure in the sports capital, San Gil, and spectacular natural beauty. Ciudad Perdida, the Lost City, is a highlight. Only accessible by a five-day trek through the jungle, the breathtaking ruins date back to the 9th century. It’s often heralded as the next Machu Picchu – so head there before the crowds.
The terror attacks of 2015 incited fear in almost everyone – and put a lot of people off visiting Paris. In the week following, almost half of Telegraph Travel readers, for instance, said they’d be less likely to visit the city. But since the attack, security has been heightened, including extra border control checks at all entry points.
Vigilance, as always, is needed in public places and you’ve got to follow the advice of local authorities – but it shouldn’t stop you visiting the world’s most romantic city of Paris. So plan a trip to see world-famous museums and monuments and taste fantastic food.
Not long ago, Iran was officially part of the former US President’s (George Bush) ‘Axis of Evil’. In reality, the country is one of the world’s most welcoming – and, most importantly, it’s safe. Chasing the Unexpected says this safety doesn’t change whether you’re travelling alone or in a group. In fact, on her visit, she saw a large number of women travelling alone.
The Secret Traveller says Iran is one of those countries you probably wouldn’t think about visiting, but really should – citing it a friendly place. The real attraction of the country is all of the great people you meet when you’re there. Looks like it’s time to go and meet them.
The earthquake that hit Nepal in April 2015 caused huge devastation. Now, the perceived risk continues to worry travellers. But natural disasters cannot be prevented and the negative impact on tourism continues to hurt places long after devastation hits.
So put Nepal back on your must-visit list. If you’re in any doubt, read this post to convince you. They do warn you’ll need a bit of patience as taxi prices might be higher and menus limited, however.
When the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU), following the ‘Brexit poll’, a lot of people were surprised. Loads of questions – including whether visas will be needed for EU visitors – continue to flood in. But until Article 50 is triggered, nothing will really change. Even after that, it could be over two years before the UK really ‘leaves’.
The devaluation of the pound also makes it very cheap for international visitors – so come and enjoy the country now for a great price.
In 1991, the outbreak of the Yugoslav Civil War, including Dubrovnik being the target of a seven-month siege, obviously put visitors off. By 1996, Croatia had restored diplomatic relations
Nowadays, the country is a safe and welcoming place for travellers. It’s also a beautiful country with great beaches, architecture and food. It’s no surprise tourism is booming. Fortunately, prices are still reasonable. Go – and don’t miss two of Croatia’s eight national parks, the Unesco-listed Plitvice Lakes and Krka, both famous for their stunning lakes and waterfalls.