Canada issues travel warnings to popular travel destinations

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Published August 6, 2023 at 6:57 pm

Hamilton Airport Survey

Summer is almost over but if you’re looking to get one last vacation in, you might want to take extra precautions if you plan on travelling to one of these destinations.

Here’s a look at some warnings put forward by the Canadian government.


Jamaica

Risks: High level of violent crime.

Reason:  Despite the presence of police to counter armed robbery and murder, crimes of this nature are a problem in large cities and tourist areas.

This can be attributed to the widespread availability of firearms which are used in most drug- and gang-related crimes.

Nearly 50 areas in Greater Kingston, St. Catherine, Montego Bay, and South Coast have a significant gang population where tourists are at risk of becoming a victim to petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag snatching.


Costa Rica 

Risks: Frequent petty crime.

Reason: Tourists are common targets for pickpockets and purse snatchers because they are perceived as being wealthy.

Passport theft is also very common and increases during the peak tourist seasons, from November to May and from July to August.

Thieves usually work in teams, where one thief diverts the victims’ attention while the other snatches their possessions.

There also are areas where drug trafficking, violent crimes and murders occur often. These include:

  • Alajuela
  • Limón
  • Puntarenas
  • San José

Mexico

Risks: High levels of criminal activity and kidnapping.

Reason: Violent crime can be found throughout Mexico, including homicides, kidnappings, and assaults. Sometimes these crimes happen at popular tourist destinations such as the Mayan Riviera (Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos and Tulum) and Acapulco.

Tourists can fall victim to extortions through virtual kidnappings, where criminals find out enough personal information of their victims and then contact the target’s loved ones claiming to have taken them hostage. Express kidnapping is also a tactic used where the victim is abducted and a small immediate ransom is demanded.

Criminal groups, including drug cartels, are very active. ‎Clashes between cartels or gangs over territory, drugs and smuggling routes are common.

A regional advisory is in effect for Mexico and it includes the following areas:

  • Chihuahua
  • Colima  (except the city of Manzanillo)
  • Coahuila
  • Durango
  • Guerrero,
  • Michoacán (except the city of Morelia)
  • Morelos
  •  Nayarit
  • Nuevo León (except the city of Monterrey)
  • Sinaloa (except the city of Mazatlán)
  • Sonora, (except the cities of Hermosillo and Guaymas/San Carlos and Puerto Peñasco)
  • Tamaulipas
  •  Zacatecas

 


Cuba

Risks: Petty crime, assaults and thefts from hotel rooms.

Reasons: A chronic shortage of basic necessities including food, medicine and fuel.


Thailand

Risks: Ongoing political tensions and sporadic demonstrations in Bangkok and other areas. Tourists are advised not to travel to the following provinces due to the potential for violent attacks:

  • Narathiwat
  • Pattani
  • Songkhla
  • Yala

Reasons: Although petty crime such as purse snatching is common throughout the country, the crime gets worse the more south you travel.

Separatist insurgents randomly commit criminal and politically motivated attacks in these areas, which include arson, shootings, and bombings.


Maldives

Risks: Threats of terrorism.

Reasons: Populated areas such as Malé and Hulhumale may experience gang-related violence.

Targets for terrorist attacks could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas like tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and resorts, and other sites frequented by foreigners

Bahamas

Risks: High rates of crime, especially in Freeport and Nassau.

Reasons: Armed robberies, burglaries, purse snatchings, theft, fraud and sexual assaults are the most common crimes committed against travellers.

Tourists are also being warned that the water sports rental industry is poorly regulated in The Bahamas. Visitors have been seriously injured using jet skis and other watercraft.


France

Risks: Elevated threat of terrorism.

Reasons: Demonstrations in opposition to police violence. These demonstrations have caused disruptions to services and transportation and led to violent acts such as vandalism and arson.

In the last few years, France has seen several opportunistic and premeditated attacks. These have resulted in many deaths and injuries.


Sweden

Risks: Threat of terrorism.

Reasons: Gang and organized crime-related violence occurs mainly in the three largest cities in Sweden: Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö.

Stockholm County has seen an increase in gun violence and homicides linked to gang rivalries.  Some incidents suggest retaliatory killings.  In some circumstances, criminals have used bombs, hand grenades or improvised explosive devices.


Germany

Risks: Threat of terrorism.

Reasons: Crimes committed by far-right extremists against individuals belonging to ethnic, religious or political minorities happen.

Targets for terrorist attacks could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas like tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and resorts, and other sites frequented by foreigners

There is also an increase in stolen passports on trains, usually during the summer and winter holiday season.

For more information on countries that a currently not safe to travel to you can visit the Government of Canada website.

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