LV= reports holiday thrill seekers snub government advice and put themselves at risk

From: LV=
Published: Wed Aug 20 2008

New research by travel insurer LV= has revealed that more and more Brits are chasing the ultimate holiday thrill by heading to risky destinations, despite Government advice warning against visiting.

The latest research from LV= has found that since 2003, Brits have taken nearly five million holidays to destinations highlighted on the FCO’s ‘don’t go list’, with a further 8% of Brits planning a trip in the next 12 months.

The LV= report has found that many of these travellers were unaware of the dangers they could potentially face, leading to increased numbers of UK tourists becoming victims of theft, robbery and intimidation.

Current destinations considered unsafe for UK visitors include much of Africa, plus parts of the Russian Federation, India, and even certain areas in countries like Turkey, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. The government currently warns against visiting areas in over 30 countries and the list is regularly updated. Only half of the people travel insurer LV= interviewed said they were aware of the FCO advice.

The research also revealed a worrying disregard for the Government warnings with nearly 50% of travellers stating that they would pay no attention to the advice and would carry on with their plans regardless.

Unfortunately this attitude is proving naïve, as these trips are ending up as perilous for many. 46% of the travellers heading to these destinations fell victim to crime while they were away.

It would seem that the desire for adventure or seclusion is the driving factor behind travellers heading to these dangerous destinations, many of whom (19%) claim they’re bored by predictable resorts.

18% of travellers said they specifically set out to travel to an off beat destination in an attempt to avoid other tourists, while a further 17% say for them the ‘holiday fear factor’ is all part of the experience.

Emma Holyer, Spokesperson for LV=, said: "As a nation we are getting more adventurous when it comes to our holidays and although it’s great to see new places, it’s also very important that travellers understand the risks they face if they are going to a potentially dangerous destination. Foreign travel is so commonplace these days but we’d urge anyone going on holiday this summer to pay attention to the Government travel advice."

She continued, "Aside from the obvious risks to safety, the vast majority of travel insurers will not provide cover for areas that the Government warns against visiting, so travellers need to do their research thoroughly before booking an unusual destination."

It’s not just the threat of violence that is leaving travellers at risk. 18% of Brits are putting themselves in danger by visiting tropical countries and not bothering to take the recommended medical vaccinations.

Emma Holyer, commented: "Although the LV= travel insurance policy will cover travellers if they fall ill with one of these diseases if they didn’t get vaccinated, many insurers will not, meaning policy holders will have no medical cover and are at an increased risk of becoming seriously ill."

The findings also reveal that it’s not only intrepid travellers to far off exotic destination who are failing to make themselves aware of the risks when they go on holiday, as 13% of tourists journeying to Spain were able to identify it as a high terrorist risk, despite 10 million planning a visit in the next year.

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Notes to Editors:
The research was carried out on behalf of LV= by YouGov.
A nationally representative sample of 1,990 adults were questioned online between 18th to 21st July 2008. Results are weighted to be representative of the UK adult population.

About LV=
LV= is a trademark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies. The new LV= brand identity was launched in March 2007.

LV= PR contact:
Emma Holyer
69 Park Lane
0208 256 6714
Company: LV=
Contact Name: Emma Holyer
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 0208 256 6714

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