Mythbuster: It’s more dangerous to travel now than ever before

Whether it is due to the proliferation of news and personal experience stories making the headlines on platforms such as social media, many people have fallen into the trap of being more afraid to travel and to leave their comfort zone than ever before. But, is it actually more dangerous to travel now than it was in the past?

Simmy Micheli, manager sales and marketing for Travel Insurance Consultants (TIC), doesn’t believe that it’s any more dangerous to travel now than it was 10 or 20 years ago. “The risks have not really changed over the years. Risks like terrorism and malaria have and always will be around. That’s why it’s important to have travel insurance.”

Co-ordinating security manager at International SOS, German Castro, agrees that it is safer to travel now, despite perceptions to the contrary. “It’s important to remember that terrorist attacks result in mass casualties, and therefore they make the news. It is high impact but low probability.”

Rather than bombs and mass shootings, the smaller risks such as illness, and muggings occurring in dangerous areas etc. are the ones that are most likely to impact travellers, and those, he adds, are relatively easy to mitigate.

Castro says that with media entities and services providing us with timely and useful information, it is easier to be informed and, in turn, to make prepared decisions. He does note, however, that while there has been an improvement in air travel, road travel does remain a concern as accidents are far more prevalent.

While travel may not be any more dangerous today, it’s still essential that corporates take steps to mitigate risks wherever possible. Micheli says travel managers need to stay informed and that, should travellers be concerned about medical issues when travelling, they would be better off going for medical check-ups before they travel to determine if they are fit to do so. Other unanticipated medical emergencies are sufficiently covered by insurance.

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