With the recent outbreak and subsequent media frenzy surrounding the coronavirus, millions of travellers around the world are wondering: is it safe to travel to Asia? In short, the answer is, technically, yes. Our live map of China’s coronavirus shows how the virus is advancing and spreading.
However, there are other factors that go into determining which are the safest countries to visit in Asia. International SOS is a travel risk management company that’s developed a comprehensive overview of health and security risks by destination in 2020.
Their 2020 map evaluates the threat posed to travellers and by factors such as political violence, social unrest, violence and petty crime. Health-related risks seem to have played a factor into the rankings, but that could change given the advancement of the coronavirus.
Thinking of planning a trip to Asia? Here are seven of the safest countries to visit in Asia in 2020, as assessed by travel risk management professionals.
Safest Countries To Visit In Asia
Out of all of the Asian countries on the map, only five were ranked as having a “low travel medical risk.” And, South Korea was one of them, making it one of the safest countries to visit in Asia. Quality medical care is available throughout the country and there is a low risk of infectious diseases.
Japan was another one of the safest countries to visit in Asia according to International SOS. Violent crime rates are low and racial, sectarian or political violence or civil unrest is uncommon. And, unlike it’s neighbour to the southwest, disruptions to public transport are extremely rare. The crime rate in Tokyo is currently only 19.4%, which is ranked as being very low.
In Taiwan, the study showed that security and emergency services are effective and infrastructure is sound. Acts of terrorism are extremely rare and rates of violent crime are low by global standards. Statistics showed that as a country, the crime rate was less than half that of what it is in Tokyo alone.
Known for its world-famous casinos and lit-up skyline, Macao is easily one of the safest countries (or in this case, autonomous regions) to visit in Asia in 2020. Because the city constantly is working hard to develop its tourism industry, the Macau government tends to also work hard to ensure it’s free of crime.
Despite growing concerns over the presence of the coronavirus in Hong Kong, it’s a pretty safe place to travel. Mugging and terrorism risks were ranked as extremely low here, while the largest threats to travellers were pickpockets and the possibility of a natural disaster. Flooding and landslides might be somewhat common, but it seems that major crime is not.
The International SOS study revealed that Singapore is an Asian country with a “medium travel security risk.” These kinds of countries might experience periodic political unrest, protests, and an increased rate of petty crime compared to low-risk countries. However, Singapore remains fairly safe for travellers. In fact, due to its infrastructure, some people even view it as safer to visit than remote areas of places such as South Korea, Japan, and Thailand.
Another “medium travel security risk” country, Vietnam still ranked pretty well as a safe country to visit in Asia. Quality medical care is available from selected providers and you’ll find reliable emergency services. The country’s ranking seemed to be affected by a small risk of food or water-borne illnesses, particularly for Western travellers.