Traveling, from contracting Covid-19 to being caught in a snow storm, can be a risky business these days.
However, the level of risk often depends on the destination and how you define risk.
The safest cities people's perception
In a report published by British insurance company William Russell, people called it "the safest city in the world".
In this list, based on estimated crime rates in the global crowd-sourced database Numbeo, Asia and Europe dominate the ranking of the "safest" cities.
According to the report, Taipei, Taiwan received the highest score and Buenos Aires, Argentina received the lowest (36.7 points).
The Safest Cities Health and Politics
But the top 5 in health and safety in Euromonitor International's 100 Best Cities 2022 are different.
The ranking, released in December, analyzes "political stability and social security", including the impact of Covid-19 (such as total cases, deaths and vaccination rates) as well as traffic accidents and government corruption and terrorism statistics.
Here the cities of the Middle East and Asia came to the fore.
- Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Doha, Qatar
- Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Singapore, Singapore
"The Middle East … is in the top four," said Vitaly Vladykin, senior director of research at Euromonitor International, while "Singapore took first place in the political stability category for 2019-2022."
Health and safety is one of the six factors used by Euromonitor International in compiling its annual Destination City Index.
Safe Places: Medical Risks
The report by travel security company International SOS not only analyzes the risks of infectious diseases, but also factors that can influence medical care, such as the quality of specialist and emergency services, the availability of medicines and language barriers.
The Travel Risk Map 2023 shows that much of North America and Western Europe and places like Turkey, Israel, Japan, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates are at “low” medical risk.
The map shows that Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea and parts of Africa have "very high" health risks, which International SOS defines as "almost non-existent or severely overburdened" health systems.
The report states that countries in purple have a "high dispersion" of health risks, which could lead to differences in health care between urban and rural areas.
This map does not reflect the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in China, said Dr. Irene Lai, Medical Director of International SOS. Rather than showing specific disease outbreaks, the map focuses on the "history" of diseases in countries around the world, he said.
Safer places – security risks
The SOS International Travel Risk Map also assesses security risks, which include crime and political violence such as terrorism and war, social unrest and vulnerability to natural disasters, according to the company.
About 25 locations around the world have "minor" security risks, says Sally Llewellyn, director of security at International SOS. Iceland, Kiribati, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Nauru, Norway, San Marino, Seychelles, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu and Wallis and Futuna.
Some countries have different levels of risk within their borders. For example, the map shows that most areas of Egypt have a “high” security risk, but lower risks in Cairo and areas east of the Nile.
Mexico has a combination of "medium" and "high" risks on the map, while Thailand's borders with Myanmar, Malaysia and Cambodia are more dangerous than the rest of the country, according to the map.
According to SOS International, security risks have increased in several places this year, including Ukraine, Colombia and the Sahel.
The Sahel is a region in North Africa that includes parts of Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, Sudan and other countries. The map shows that there is a combination of "high" and "severe" security threats in the area.