Solo travellers’ confidence in the safety of Turkey and Egypt is at all-time low, according to a new survey conducted by travel insurance specialist Alphainsurance.co.uk.
The results reflect a decline in the levels of tourism in these former holiday hot-spots following recent waves of terror and civil unrest, with those surveyed ranking the two countries as the top destinations to avoid when travelling alone.
Alphatravelinsurance.co.uk’s research indicates that France’s reputation among solo travellers has also suffered as a consequence of terrorism. Despite ranking as the top international tourist destination in the world in 2015, France was regarded with a high level of caution by the solo travellers surveyed, ranking higher than Mexico, Morocco and even South Africa.*
By contrast, Spain was seen as a safe bet for solo travellers, reflecting the large increase in the levels of tourism experienced by the country this summer.
As part of the survey, Alphatravelinsurance.co.uk asked the solo travellers’ their opinion on which countries were safest and most dangerous. Many of the respondents warned that their experiences had revealed gendered risks relating to solo travel, advising that women and girls should be careful when going out at night and should carry rape alarms and pepper spray.
This is not to say that travelling alone as a man does not have its risks. Several of those surveyed cited mugging as a potential threat for men travelling solo, advising against wearing headphones when making journeys alone and recommending carrying fake wallets as a way of minimising the impact of an attempted robbery.
Stephen Howard, Managing Director of Alphatravelinsurance.co.uk, said: “Solo travelling is a unique experience which offers exciting opportunities for people of all ages and has many benefits. Travellers can determine their own itineraries, find time to reflect and build up their confidence by going it alone. However, solo travellers are also more vulnerable to risk than those that travel accompanied so it is essential that they take precautions before departure. Our customers’ safety is our highest priority so we would recommend solo travellers check the advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and purchase a travel insurance policy which will provide full cover during the trip.”
The research was based on 1,265 UK residents with experience of solo travel, surveyed by Alphainsurance.co.uk throughout July 2016.
**Source: UNWTO Tourism Highlights, 2016 Edition, July 2016, UNWTO e-Library.
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