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Most Aussies unaware of govt warnings for destinations

Three in five Australians are ignorant of government travel warnings to overseas destinations, a new survey has shown. 


Conducted by travel insurer, InsureandGo, the study presented 1000 Aussies with 11 destinations abroad - Belgium, Egypt, Morocco, India, Mexico, South Africa, Peru, Brazil, Philippines, Nepal and Thailand - asking if any of the places were ‘safe’ for travel. 


Brussels, Belgium


Sixty percent thought that at least one country with a warning was risk-free. The countries were chosen based on their status on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smartraveller website.


The most overlooked ‘risky’ destination was Belgium, in which the Australian Government advises to ‘exercise a high degree of caution’ - thanks to a terrorist attack at Brussels Airport nearly three years ago.


“Whether Aussies decide to visit these countries or destinations deemed low risk by the Government, it’s best to always be prepared for the unexpected – whether that be lost or stolen luggage, travel cancellations or emergency medical,” InsureandGo spokesperson Jonathan Etkind said. 


“Medicare and Australian private health insurance will not cover travellers who need medical care overseas, nor will travellers have recourse to any compensation for loss, theft or damage to their belongings, without travel insurance.


“Having said that, before booking any trip, it’s important to check that your travel insurer provides cover for travel to your chosen destination, as many insurers are unlikely to cover high-risk countries such as Haiti, Lebanon, or East Timor.”


For Australians heading to medium to high risk nations, InsureandGo recommends travellers be aware of any advisories, keeping belongings safe, respecting local customs and taking care when partaking in adventure activities.


Ranking of the countries Aussies think are safest for travel, considering DFAT’s travel warnings:


When asked which of these countries they most wanted to travel to, respondents chose (in order) Thailand, then Egypt, Belgium, Brazil, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, South Africa, India, the Philippines, and Nepal.


Do you do research into safety when choosing your holiday destination?


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 14 December 2018

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