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Germans only consider 5 places safe to travel to (and one is Germany)

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Germans only consider 5 places safe to travel to (and one is Germany)
The Pfahlbaumuseum Unteruhldingen is an open-air museum on Lake Constance. Photo: DPA.
15:47 CET+01:00
A new survey by the market research company GfK shows that a majority of Germans think the parts of the world where people don't greet you with a “Guten Tag” are scary and insecure places.

Germans can largely agree on one thing. Stay in the German-speaking world (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and you are likely to come back from your travels in one piece.

A thin majority even let Italy and Scandinavia into the club. The GfK survey, released on Monday, showed that 53 percent consider Scandinavia safe for travel, and 52 percent think the same about Italy.

Despite Spain being the most popular tourist destination for Germans, most seem to think you are taking your life in your hands when you fly off for a weekend in Mallorca - just 49 percent consider the Castilian country a place where one can feel safe and secure.

The team behind the survey said that discussions of increasing taxes on tourists had given Germans the feeling they were no longer welcome in Spain. Meanwhile a recent terror attack in Barcelona and unrest in Catalonia had also contributed to the muted enthusiasm for the Iberian peninsula.

Classic tourism destinations like Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia were considered even more risky, with just 5 percent of respondents agreeing that they were safe.

“Sun, beach and sea have been replaced by security as the number one factor for travellers when it comes to picking their destination,” said Prof. Ulrich Reinhardt, who led the study.

Reinhardt argued that a guarantee of safety would come to replace a guarantee of sun as the decisive influence on people's decision making.

The survey asked people about their attitudes to 30 tourism regions. Only one in three thought of Britain as safe, and just under one in four (23 percent) said that the US is a safe destination. Australia and Canada ranked more favourably, winning the trust of 44 percent and 47 percent of Germans, respectively.

But these countries were still behind the clear winner, their own dear beloved Bundesrepublik, which was considered safe by 77 percent of respondents. 

Reinhardt said that perceptions of safety were strongly correlated with educational levels. Better educated Germans were almost twice as likely as the average to say that Britain and the US were safe countries to travel to.

“Whoever has a low level of formal education is more afraid in many aspects of life,” he said, adding that this could perhaps be explained through their consumption of more biased, sensationalist media.

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