Even though the amount of Aussies traveling each year is staggering, where they experience the most injuries is surprisingly specific. Thanks to a growing amount of airlines, plane tickets across the world have never been cheaper. This easy access to flights allowed Australians to make over 10 million overseas trips in the 2016/2017 year. Out of this staggering amount of flights, the most popular destinations were New Zealand, Indonesia, the USA, the UK, Thailand, and China. Unfortunately, not all of these trips went without incident. To make matters even more alarming, many injuries and deaths are concentrated in five countries.
As more Australians start travelling, the amount of injuries abroad has skyrocketed. In 2016, 1,244 Australians died during overseas trips while nearly 2,000 were hospitalized or listed as missing. That equates to 9 Australians dying, getting injured, or vanishing each day. While these figures are startling, it’s important to remember that around 9 million Australians travel without incident every year. Many of the deaths and injuries come from old age or pre-existing medical conditions. However, just because some websites overhype deaths abroad doesn’t mean traveling is without risk.
Even though it’s easy for Aussie tourists to let their guard down, being more careful is always advisable. Due to lax enforcement and wild environments, some countries have proven to be more dangerous than others. Through proper planning and preparation, hundreds of deaths can be avoided each year. For this reason, we compiled a list of the most dangerous countries for Aussie tourists. They are still amazing places to visit, so discover why you should be more careful abroad!
Most Dangerous Places for Australian Tourists
Country #4: Vietnam
Vietnam is not safe for Aussie tourists because of a high number of deadly road accidents, dodgy tour operators, and bay safety risks with petty crimes. There has been a number of drowning deaths on the iconic Ha Long Bay, most notably in 2011, 2016 when many foreigners and their Vietnamese guide drowned after their tour boat sank. Online travel forums contain numerous reports about poor or non-existent safety standards on the bay.
Though Vietnam remained a highly regulated tourism environment, the actual enforcement and compliance levels are low and the regulations are rarely effective in securing the safety of travelers.
At the streets most of the police force are not able to speak English and a lot of them are going to be corrupt.
Country #3: Indonesia
It’s no secret that Australians have a strong infatuation with Indonesia. Ever since it overtook the USA in 2010 for most visits from Australians, it has continued enchanting visitors. Hotspots like Bali, Kuta Beach & Lake Toba lured in a staggering 1.248 million Australians in 2016. This was an 11% increase from the previous year and a 546% increase since 2006. Its close proximity to Australia and notoriously gorgeous beaches have made Indonesia our country’s top leisure spot.
Unfortunately, there are always problems in paradise. On top of regularly locking up tourists for drug offenses, there are plenty of ways unruly Australians get themselves into trouble. In 2016, 107 Aussie tourists died and 144 experienced serious injuries and hospitalizations in Indonesia. This tropical hotspot is also the most likely country where Australians go missing, with 40 tourists vanishing last year. Due to the staggering amount of visitors, these figures aren’t surprising, but they should encourage tourists to be more responsible.
Country #2: Philippines
Sporting a never-ending amount of islands, the Philippines has been an epic getaway for years. Their gorgeous beaches and friendly locals have quickly won over Australian tourists. Unfortunately, the rise in visits has led to more incidents. In 2016 alone 126 Aussies died, 66 were hospitalized and 32 went missing in the Philippines. Even though these figures are fueled by retirees and those who engage in risky behavior, they are still essential to know. For this reason, have fun and stay safe in the Philippines!
Country #1: Thailand
Even though Thailand is fifth on the list of our most visited countries, it takes the top spot for mishaps. In 2016, 203 Australians died, 157 were hospitalized and 39 went missing. The fifth most visited destination for Aussies, Thailand, is on top of the list for both deaths and hospitalization, with 3,354 deaths or injuries in 2017. Over half a million Aussies visit this South Eastern kingdom every year, so most visitors have a great time. Scooter/moto accidents are one of the main culprits of these hospitalizations, so drive carefully in Thailand!
When booking your holiday make sure to check various news and apps and see if there are any warnings or alerts for your planned destination. Also, travel insurance will knock back any claims from destinations the government recommends avoiding. A travel insurance policy for your trip will typically cost far less than a hospital stay in many countries, so take this into account when booking.