Tourist destinations at risk of attacks: here are the destinations to avoid!

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Joel Fulleda

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Unfortunately, the news events they include Attack terrorists are on the agenda. More and more often we hear about these frightening events that happen suddenly and affect, despite the controls and attention to safety implemented, several tourist places with a high density of visits. There are countries that are targeted by these criminals more than others, which is why many travelers wonder whether or not it is appropriate to visit some countries or locations. Furthermore, each nation corresponds to a number that indicates the so-called Global Terrorism Index (GTI), that is a dangerousness index that classifies the countries most at risk with regard to terrorism. To calculate this data, several factors are considered, such as attacks against buildings or people over a period of 10 years. The calculation of this figure is by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and is also based on data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), collected and processed by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland.

Which ones are they the destinations that are best avoided, until the international situation is no less agitated? Here are some indications on countries at risk of terrorism and on how to behave if you intend to visit them.


  1. The Map of Countries at Risk
  2. Syria, GTI 8.58
  3. Yemen, GTI 8.076
  4. India, GTI 7.48
  5. Egypt, GTI 7.32
  6. Turkey, GTI 6.721
  7. Thailand, GTI 6.712
  8. Kenya, GTI 6.487
  9. Lebanon, GTI 6.376
  10. Israel, GTI 6.034
  11. UK, GTI 5.613
  12. France, GTI 4.553
  13. Saudi Arabia, GTI 4.006
  14. Tunisia, GTI 3.697
  15. Germany, GTI 3.442
  16. Belgium, GTI 1.977
  17. User questions and comments

The Map of Countries at Risk

As the map shows, Germany also became part of those countries that are considered at high risk of terrorist attacks. The country reached this sad record well before the latest news events occurred during the 2016 Christmas holidays in Berlin. Other European nations that share the high level of attention are France, Turkey and Belgium. The attacks in Paris in November 2015 unfortunately recorded 130 deaths, while those in Nice in July 2014 another 84 deaths. Fear is also high in Egypt and Tunisia, Indonesia, Russia, Myanmar, Kenya, Philippines, Colombia, Thailand and Australia. Almost all of the Middle East is signposted and includes countries such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Afghanistan.

1 - Syria, GTI 8.58

We all know what the current situation is in Syria, a beautiful land tormented by a terrifying civil war and occupied by ISIS terrorists in many areas of the country. Potentially this nation would offer many tourist ideas (remember that in Syria there are some of the oldest cities in Western Asia, including Damascus and the old city of Aleppo which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site), if only bombing and vandalism carried out by the militiamen have irreparably damaged or destroyed a large part of the historical and archaeological heritage of Syria.
Recommended behaviors:

  1. avoid going to the country except for reasons of extreme necessity
  2. constantly get informed on the situation by checking the news spread by local and international mass media
  3. be supported by some organization that can guarantee your safety

Behaviors advised against:

  1. visits to urban centers, main cities and the capital
  2. move around cities to avoid involvement in risky situations such as marches or gatherings
  3. visit or stay near Aleppo

2 - Yemen, GTI 8.076

The internal situation is also for Yemen maximum alert. Although the government has partially reconquered some southern territories that had fallen into the hands of dangerous terrorist groups, the country is still an unstable condition and safety is undoubtedly in an emergency.
Recommended behaviors:

  1. avoid frequenting meeting places, crowds and events
  2. record their movements in the country and avoid individual and unorganized trips
  3. inquire about the situation in the country through the local and international mass media

Behaviors advised against:

  1. frequent movements especially within the main cities
  2. use means of transport by land, especially for long journeys
  3. go to the street on Fridays (day of prayer) and on weekends

3 - India, GTI 7.48

Since 2008, India has also become one of the countries with a high risk of attacks, due to the acts carried out that year in Mumbai also against foreigners. There have been other episodes, again against foreigners, in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Security checks have become more frequent and accurate but the alert remains very high, especially in large cities and places with a high tourist density.
Recommended behaviors:

  1. avoid going to the northern regions and in particular the areas bordering Pakistan
  2. avoid participating in demonstrations and mingling with large crowds
  3. keep your attention and move away from a place where you notice something suspicious or abnormal

Behaviors advised against:

  1. organize the trip individually without relying on a tour operator
  2. stop for a long time and get noticed in high-traffic areas such as public transport and stations, markets
  3. frequent and stay too long in hotels belonging to international chains

4 - Egypt, GTI 7.32

This is another country where security has dropped a lot in recent years. The situation is highly unstable and they often occur terrorist actions, especially aimed at foreigners and tourists.
Recommended behaviors:

  1. rely on an expert Tour Operator
  2. attend only resorts and villages
  3. prefer tourist areas such as Sharm el-Sheik, Upper Egypt and those on the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the continental coast of the Red Sea

Behaviors advised against:

  1. go alone to non-tourist or rural areas
  2. get out of resorts or villages
  3. do not follow the advice of the Tour Operator, especially when visiting archaeological areas

5 - Turkey, GTI 6.721

Recently subject to a military coup, Turkey has been declared by the Farnesina Country with a high terrorist risk. For this reason we recommend the utmost attention when traveling to Turkey, avoiding traveling around the country without documents or not following the instructions of the local authorities.
Recommended behaviors:

  1. constantly follow local and international news
  2. always carry identification documents with you that certify your permission to enter and stay in the country
  3. follow the directions given by the local authorities

Behaviors advised against:

  1. travel after dark
  2. avoid uninhabited areas
  3. do not violate the curfew provisions

6 - Thailand, GTI 6.712

Prudence is more than recommended in a country where the authorities report repeatedly the risk of attacks. The danger is high throughout Thailand. Terrorist attacks occurred in some seaside resorts in 2015 and the following year, when numerous deaths and injuries were caused by a bomb attack at the Erawan shrine in central Bangkok.
Recommended behaviors:

  1. inquire about the possibility of unrest or demonstrations that could endanger foreigners
  2. read newspapers and follow local news regarding potential hazards
  3. rely on a Tour Operator who shows you the safest areas to go on holiday

Behaviors advised against:

  1. participate in political demonstrations, protests, marches
  2. go to the 3 southern provinces on the border with Malaysia, in the provinces of Satun and Songkhla, in the areas on the border with Laos, Burma and Cambodia
  3. go on an individual journey

7 - Kenya, GTI 6.487

The risk of terrorist attacks is high across the country. In particular, numerous acts of a terrorist nature they were implemented by the Somali organization Al Shabaab, following the entry of the Kenyan army into Somalia. Numerous attacks have occurred since 2012
Recommended behaviors:

  1. prudence, especially in public places such as stations, markets, churches and near institutional buildings
  2. consult your travel agency before departure, which may be more updated on the current situation in the country
  3. constantly follow the news through local and international media

Behaviors advised against:

  1. participate in events, especially if organized in places with a high tourist density
  2. go to rural areas or, in general, leave resorts and villages
  3. organize individual trips without the guidance of an experienced Tour Operator

8 - Lebanon, GTI 6.376

All over the country the risk of terrorist attacks is high, especially in the southern districts of Beirut. For example, the 2015 attacks in Beirut which caused several dozen deaths and injuries. Numerous attacks have also been recorded towards religious and political targets, like in November 2013 when the Iranian embassy was hit.
Recommended behaviors:

  1. avoid demonstrations, crowded places and gatherings
  2. caution when traveling within the country
  3. avoid the archaeological site of Baalbek

Behaviors advised against:

  1. go to Palestinian refugee camps
  2. travel to areas on the border with Syria
  3. go to the southern suburbs of Beirut

9 - Israel, GTI 6.034

Although the political situation in the country is stable, it is worth noting the high danger of terrorist attacks and acts of violence. The most recent recorded incident occurred in June 2016, when some individuals used firearms to target passers-by and restaurant customers in Tel Aviv.
Recommended behaviors:

  1. before leaving, check the situation in the country by following local and international media
  2. if possible, inquire about the behavior to be followed by asking local people
  3. respect the instructions provided by local authorities

Behaviors advised against:

  1. get distracted, especially in crowded areas such as markets and public places
  2. participate in events of any kind
  3. travel to the Israeli territories near the Gaza Strip

10 - United Kingdom, GTI 5.613

Although the situation is generally stable and security seems guaranteed, London has become the protagonist of some terrorist events of Islamic origin, even very recently. In fact, on 22 March 2017, a radical Muslim attempted to enter the parliament building in the capital, causing several deaths and injuries.
Recommended behaviors:

  1. pay close attention to suspicious behavior
  2. report to the authorities the presence of unattended baggage or suspicious individuals
  3. follow the instructions of the local authorities in case of alarms

Behaviors advised against:

  1. leave luggage or bags unattended, both at airports and at metro stations
  2. in case of alarm, create confusion and do not listen to the authorities
  3. do not broadcast news and videos on social networks that you are not sure of

11 - France, GTI 4.553

Unfortunately, France is also a nation that has suffered several attacks by Islamic terrorists. We recall, for example, the raid on board of a large truck by an attacker on the crowd in Nice, which caused more than 80 deaths and hundreds of injuries.
Recommended behaviors:

  1. inquire about the situation in the country before leaving
  2. follow the directions of the Tour Operators and local authorities
  3. pay attention to what happens and report suspicious behavior

Behaviors advised against:

  1. in the event of an attack, disseminate unverified news via the internet and social networks
  2. do not wait for the instructions of the authorities
  3. hamper the operations of the police forces

12 - Saudi Arabia, GTI 4.006

This state is part of the difficult Middle East context for this the security situation is dangerous and constantly changing. An armed conflict is ongoing in Yemen and this seriously affects security in the border areas with Saudi Arabia. The terrorist acts are aimed at Shiite communities but also against the security forces.
Recommended behaviors:

  1. inquire before and during the trip about the current situation in the country
  2. pay attention to your safety by following the instructions of the police
  3. report any suspicious incidents, especially in airports, stations and places with high traffic

Behaviors advised against:

  1. take part in any type of event and demonstration
  2. attend public places without attention
  3. fail to follow local authority guidelines

13 - Tunisia, GTI 3.697

Currently the level of alert throughout the country is very high and the authorities are present in numerous sites with high tourist numbers to ensure safety. Controls have also been tightened, especially after the latest episodes against tourists visiting the country.
Recommended behaviors:

  1. follow the advice and directions of the police and security authorities
  2. pay utmost attention to your safety and be cautious when traveling
  3. avoid any kind of demonstrations and demonstrations

Behaviors advised against:

  1. go to isolated areas of the country
  2. cross the Medina of Tunis at night
  3. go to the peripheral areas of Sousse and Sfax

14 - Germany, GTI 3.442

Germany is also one of those European countries that is recently found exposed to international terrorist dangers. There have recently been very serious episodes, the Würzburg attack which took place on 18 July 2016, that of Munich on 22 July 2016, of Ansbach on 25 July 2016 and in Berlin in December 2016.
Recommended behaviors:

  1. pay maximum attention especially in public and tourist places
  2. strictly follow the instructions of the police
  3. rely on a travel agency to organize it in the best possible way

Behaviors advised against:

  1. go to unknown and unsafe areas
  2. not paying attention to unusual behaviors, abandoned baggage, potentially dangerous situations
  3. spreading untruthful or unverified news by triggering unjustified alarms

15 - Belgium, GTI 1.977

Although the GTI is relatively low, we know what the condition of the country is currently. Attacks occurred in May 2014, March 2016 and August of the same year. Following these attacks, the alert in Belgium was maximum and travel highly discouraged. Moreover, the authorities have also established strong links between the incidents that took place in Belgium and France, due to the so-called Islamic "foreign fighters" of Belgian origin.
Recommended behaviors:

  1. be particularly vigilant in central areas and very popular with tourists
  2. be careful in airports, metro and train stations
  3. report any type of suspicious behavior and the presence of unattended bags or baggage

Behaviors advised against:

  1. leave without inquiring about national events
  2. create unjustified alarms and spread false news
  3. do not follow the directions of the local police

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