Safest Countries to Travel
We talked about the impact of visa free travel for meeting location selection. Today we want to discuss another important aspect when selecting a location for a meeting or event: safety. What are the safest countries to travel and its impact on location selection.
The Global Peace Index shows the Safest Countries in the World
The Global Peace Index (GPI) ranks independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. The 2017 edition included 163 states. It’s methodology includes 23 indicators coming from highly respected sources measuring the state of peace in countries and territories. The measuring includes three thematic domains: level of Societal Safety and Security, extend of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict, and degree of Militarization.
The perception of safety depends on the person organizing the trip
For travel in general, maybe even more for business travel, the level of security is an important factor when deciding on where to meet. However, the perception of whether a location is safe or unsafe depends very much of the individual person who is in charge of organizing the trip. You may remember the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014. While the countries which were affected by the outbreak was mainly Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the whole African continent was stigmatized of being a no-go zone. The impact on travel and tourism was massive. Tourist were cancelling trips to Cape Town which is around 8,000 kilometers (5000 miles) away from the main outbreak area. As a comparison, Los Angeles and New York in the US are about 4300 kilometers (2700 miles) apart.
Independently of those events, as well general perceptions of whether a location is safe or not depends massively on personal opinions, outdated or 3rd degree information. If the world is moving into more remotely working teams with a higher demand off targeted in-person meetings as well as huge saving potential for location independent travel analysis, then the process of whether a location is considered to be safe or not needs to be based on facts rather than on personal interpretations.
Applying tools like the GPI’s ranking on safest countries in the world are important for meeting location selections. Together with the visa free travel aspect, this is another component of the location selection matrix. The only challenge with the GPI is that the element of Militarization may have an impact on whether a country is considered being in a state of peace but not necessarily whether it is safe to travel to. If you look at the global ranking of state of peace, countries like the United States (114), China (116), Israel (144) and Russia (151) are scoring very poorly mainly because of their level of militarization. Whether this has a direct impact on whether a country is safe to travel to or not is questionable.
Do you apply tools like the GPI safest countries ranking for your travel location decisions?
The GPI safest countries for 2017 are:
State of Peace – VERY HIGH
- New Zealand
- Czech Republic
State of Peace – HIGH
- Costa Rica
- Sierra Leone
- United Kingdom
- South Korea
State of Peace – VERY LOW
- North Korea
- Dem. Rep. Congo
- Central African Rep.
- South Sudan