Travelling is risky business
So Colonel Gaddafi has gone but, despite the death of the desperate despot, the future isn’t especially rosy for Libya. Gaddafi might have gone to his grave but the nation faces a tough battle to win back holidaymakers – like much of the Middle East.
As a result of the Arab Spring, once popular destinations like Jordan have witnessed a steep decline in the number of tourists, regardless of its blockbuster sights and the fact that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office doesn’t even advise against travelling to the Hashemite Kingdom!
But it’s not just Jordan and its Arab brothers who are suffering. Japan has been badly hit following the earthquake and tsunami in March, while the floods that have ravaged parts of central Thailand are likely to stop people from booking trips to the ‘Land of smiles’ anytime soon.
While I understand that readers might be worried about visiting troubled spots, I urge you to still consider doing so. Case in point? You can still visit Japan – just steer of the regions worst effected by the natural disasters. I made the sojourn to Sri Lanka during the height of the Civil War a few years back and – against all the odds – enjoyed the trip of a lifetime. My safety (provided I stuck to certain areas) was never in doubt and I got to savour stunning spots that were free from crowds. More importantly? By spending my money in Sri Lanka, I was contributing to the economy of a country that badly needed it to get back on its feet.
My message? Be sensible but don’t let travel warnings dictate your choice of destination. Governments have to err on the safe side but the bottom line is this: when it comes to travelling, there is and will always be an element of danger.