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Map reveals most dangerous places in the world to visit in 2023

Metro logo Metro 11/30/2022 Josh Milton
Travel experts have ranked the most dangerous and safest places to visit next year (Picture: Metro.co.uk) © Provided by Metro Travel experts have ranked the most dangerous and safest places to visit next year (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

A map has revealed some of the most dangerous places to travel to in 2023 – and the list now includes Ukraine for the first time.

Travel risk management company International SOS released yesterday its annual Travel Risk Map to help people and businesses know where is safe to jet off to.

Using a ‘data-driven’ approach, experts ranked Afghanistan, Syria, Mali, Iraq and Ukraine as ‘potentially the most dangerous’ countries to visit next year.

Before the Russia-Ukraine war began, the firm considered Ukraine a country of ‘medium’ risk in terms of security but has now notched it up to ‘extreme’.

The UK, Germany and France as well as most parts of Europe remain relatively low-risk, the index said.

This is reflected in the countries International SOS said are the best ‘safe bets’ to travel in 2023 – Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark and Iceland.

Scandinavia is generally ranked as safer than most other parts of the world (Picture: International SOS)

Scandinavia is generally ranked as safer than most other parts of the world (Picture: International SOS)
© Provided by Metro

South America, according to International SOS, remains a patchwork of high and low-risk regions.

Argentina and Chile, for example, are low while Colombia’s uptick in criminality amid the pandemic has led to a rise in high-risk zones.

The index ranked countries based on various factors, such as personal security, which scored each nation on factors like crime rates, civil unrest, and terrorism threats.

Health was a chief concern for experts, with infectious disease rates and how accessible healthcare services are being big factors.

For the first time since the map began in 2015, map-makers took into account mental health rates as well.

Rates of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety are pronounced in the UK and large parts of Europe, experts found.

Mental health is, in general, spotty across the world. International SOS ranked countries based on data from the worldwide study, the Global Burden of Disease.

Russia’s war on Ukraine has made the European country among the most dangerous places on earth (Picture: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Russia’s war on Ukraine has made the European country among the most dangerous places on earth (Picture: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
© Provided by Metro

The results aren’t great. One in seven people in the world right now is experiencing one or more mental or substance use disorders. 

In nations such as Greenland, Spain, Australia and Japan, between 17.5-20% of people are experiencing some form of mental health condition, the index found.

Iran, roiled by months of rage, exhilaration and women-led protests against the country’s strict morality laws, also ranks with the worst mental health globally.

For some sort of peace of mind for travellers, the index found there was next to no decline in security risk across Europe.

This is despite the Ukraine war rattling markets and, in part, sending cost-of-living standards to new and horrifying lows across the continent.

Dr Irene Lai, medical director at International SOS, said: ‘With travel and health risks on the rise in many regions, it is important for organisations to also focus on mitigating the ongoing impact of mental health issues.

‘Although other acute medical issues which may have a significant impact regularly arise, mental health problems remain in the background and cannot be overlooked.

‘Organisations must handle multiple physical and mental health issues to effectively maintain their Duty of Care responsibilities.’

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