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The World’s Safest Countries for Travelers in 2017

Sometimes, it feels like the world is far more dangerous than it was a generation ago. So, there are plenty of articles to tell you where not to travel (check the U.S. State Department’s travel advisories list which, to summarize, basically suggests that you never leave the country). But, what are the world’s safest countries for travelers in 2017?

It’s difficult to provide a clear, objective letter grade to each country’s safety since there are just too many factors to consider. But, the World Economic Forum’s annual Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report is arguably the next best thing. It takes into account obvious things like incidences of terror, plus overall violent crime, including per capita homicide rates. So who came out on top?

#5: Hong Kong

Hong Kong City at Night, World's Safest Countries
Mongkok Street, Hong Kong Image used with permission by copyright holder

Of every destination in the world, Hong Kong ranks extremely low for the total number of annual terrorist incidents. Police and emergency services are known to be extremely reliable–which is great in the event that things go sideways during your visit. The main issues for travelers to consider are occasional pick-pocketing (especially in the tourist areas) and petty theft. The passing of counterfeit currency continues to be a concern as well, particularly for travelers who don’t know any better.

#4: Oman

Oman
The village of Bilad Sayt, Oman Image used with permission by copyright holder

Most Americans couldn’t find Oman on a map. Some might be aware that it’s next to Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and (wrongly) assume that it suffers many of the same dangers. In fact, Oman is the fourth safest country in the world. Property crime, in particular, is extremely low, and crime overall is almost nonexistent. Chalk it up to the country’s prevalent wealth and the fact that Omanis tend to be a very generous, polite, and relaxed people.

#3: Iceland

Iceland and Northern Lights
Kirkjufell Church mountain is mountain on the north coast of Iceland’s Snfellsnes peninsula. Image used with permission by copyright holder

As if you needed another reason to visit Iceland … it’s now ranked the third-safest country in the world. Much of that can be attributed to the Icelandic people who are culturally laid-back, honest, and decent. The fact that American travel to Iceland has boomed in the last few years means the country also counts on the huge influx of tourism dollars. So, it doesn’t behoove them to mistreat foreigners.

#2: United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates
Image used with permission by copyright holder

United Arab Emirates (or just “UAE”) has likewise seen a huge tourist boom in the last decade. By conservative estimates, the country hosted more than 15 million international visitors last year. Coupled with the fact that it was already one of the wealthiest countries in the world means that its people have few reasons to commit crime, property or otherwise.

#1: Finland

Finland
Image used with permission by copyright holder

We’ve already told you about the best reasons to visit Finland in 2017. Now, add to that the fact that it’s the #1 safest country in the world for travelers. That could have something to do with the fact that it boasts more saunas per capita than anywhere else on the planet. Any culture who takes their relaxation that seriously is just going to be too damn chill to act criminally.

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Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
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