For many people, the world feels like a much more dangerous place now than it was a few decades ago. But travel is hugely important not just for business and financial purposes, but for vacation and leisure purposes as well. In the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report of 2017, countries are ranked according to their safety and security. The good news is that “safe” and “secure” doesn’t have to mean boring. Check out below for the 10 top-ranked countries for safety and security, and the attractions in each of them to make your stay interesting.
Qatar is one of the top ranked countries in the Middle East, both in terms of safety and in the overall ranking. There is a wide variety to do here too. You could wander through Souq Waquif, visit Sheikh Faisal’s private museum at Al Samriya, or jump over the man-made island, Peal-Qatar.
In ninth place is Rwanda. Although the country doesn’t score well in all indicators (the terrorism index and rate of homicide are not as low as most others on the list), police response is reliable, the business cost of terrorism is low and so are the business costs of crime and violence. It is also home to some incredible natural wonders. You could visit a gorilla park on one side of the country and giraffes and lions on the other.
Switzerland landed in eighth place for the safest city, and has also done well in the broader report, ranking as the 10th overall destination. Although their name is synonymous with neutrality, Switzerland offers anything but a bland experience. You could ski the Alps, bungee jump, or just stare at the grandeur of the Matterhorn.
In seventh place is Norway. For a nature-focused visit, see the famous fjords or take a trip along one of the 18 national tourist routes. For more of a cultural experience, sip on craft beers and take a walk on the roof of the Oslo Opera House.
Singapore comes out well-rounded in its safety scores: the cost of business crime and violence is quite low (seventh place), police reliability is high (fourth place) and the homicide rate is third lowest in the world. You could visit museums, indulge in shopping, or wander alongside the colourful Peranakan houses.
5. Hong Kong
Hong Kong has one of the lowest incidences of terrorism in the world. On your visit, you could visit the Pak Tai Temple on Cheung Chau Island, or escape the throb of the city by lounging on Repulse Bay Beach.
Though Oman’s next-door-neighbour, Yemen, has suffered devastating conflict in the last couple of years, Oman is the fourth safest city in the world, and is tied with a few other countries for having the lowest incidence of terrorism globally. On your visit here, you should check out the sloping sand dunes and turquoise fjords, if you are a nature lover; and those in search of culture shouldn’t miss the markets in Nizwa or the fortresses.
Iceland’s popularity with international travellers has boomed in the last several years. So, knowing it’s also the third safest destination is only a bonus. If you choose to travel to this country, keep a lookout for the Aurora Borealis, soak in the Blue Lagoon or enjoy glaciers, waterfalls and whale-watching.
2. United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates are on the up-and-up, having hosted 14.4 million international visitors in 2015. They have plenty of reasons for travellers to visit: in addition to being the second safest destination in the world, there is an abundance of excellent dining and shopping, plus beaching in the Persian Gulf!
And the winner is… Finland! Tourist attractions in Finland include the Northern Lights, the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankyla, Lapland (if the sun stays up all night, you might as well, too). It is a terrific place to spend a holiday.
By Akaomachi B