Brits rate SA second most risky tourism spot


May 16th, 2003, 05:04 AM
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Brits rate SA second most risky tourism spot

Brits rate SA second most risky tourism spot

May 12 2003 at 07:01AM

By Jo-Anne Smetherham

South Africa is the second riskiest country to visit - after Jamaica - according to more than 500 British citizens whose opinions on crime were canvassed in a University of Cape Town study late last year.

Most of the respondents in the survey said hearing or reading about crime incidents would put them off visiting a country.

This survey was conducted in November for a doctoral thesis by Richard George of UCT's school of management studies.

The travellers interviewed were selected randomly from a tour operator's database.

The countries perceived to be free of crime were New Zealand, Canada and Australia
Most respondents were over 45, well-educated professionals, and 97 percent were citizens of the United Kingdom. Almost half had been on a long-haul holiday between 1992 and 2002.

Jamaica was voted the most risky by one-quarter of the respondents from a list of 20 long-haul destinations given by the researchers, which included Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Kenya, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Canada and the United States.

One-fifth of the respondents said they were more likely to be a victim of crime in South Africa than in the other countries listed. Almost two-thirds said they viewed South Africa as either unsafe or very unsafe.

This is despite national and provincial tourist authorities having reported that the number of tourists visiting South Africa has risen consistently in recent years.

The countries perceived to be free of crime were New Zealand, Canada and Australia.

Over two-thirds of the respondents believed they were as likely to be a victim of crime in the UK as on a long-haul holiday.

South Africa was probably seen as unsafe because of news reports of violent crimes involving British tourists in Mpumalanga at the time the survey was conducted, George wrote.

This article was originally published on page 6 of The Cape Times on 12 May 2003


Personally, I never felt unsafe during my time in South Africa last year. However, I guess I was a little sheltered staying at Singita, The Mount Nelson and The Table Bay Hotel.

The only time I felt a little uncomfortable was at the Century City mall and seeing how many devout Muslims there were, including women in full burkas (sp. ?). Of course, that was only a few months after 9/11 and as Americans we have had this image of Muslims beat into our brains by the U.S. Government and Media.

For my upcoming trip, I don't imagine much will change since I am staying in Camps Bay at The Twelve Apostles, in the Cape Winelands at The Lanzerac Manor and in the Sabi Sand at Vuyatela.

I think that the bottom line is that no matter where you are in the world, including the United States, that if you are in the wrong neighborhood, especially after dark, you are asking for problems. I guess the big difference may be that the wrong neighborhoods may encompass 25% of the United States, while they may encompass 95% of some other foreign lands.
Roccco is offline  
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May 16th, 2003, 11:27 AM
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They obviously then have no idea of the Crime statistics in Australia !
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May 16th, 2003, 05:38 PM
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So Roccco, when are you coming to canada???
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May 17th, 2003, 12:51 AM
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I had a $600 USD air credit on Alaska Airlines that I had to use by May 27th. Had I planned properly, that $600 credit would have easily have gotten me to Vancouver or Victoria (BC). However, because I waited two weeks before until making my trip info, the best I could do was get to San Francisco.

Although I am disappointed that I will miss out on BC, Canada, at least for now, I am very pleased to be going to San Francisco, a city that my wife and I have never visited together in our 10 years together. Only by being a travel snob have I seen five different continents with my wife but somehow managed to miss what many would vote is the #1 city in the world.

We will just be in San Francisco for two nights at the Ritz Carlton and will celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary while we are there, less than two weeks before we leave for Africa. I could have gone for three nights but I didn't want to miss a trail race that I am looking forward to with much anticipation next Saturday morning. It will be a nasty 8.6 mile race with a climb to the top of Mount Wilson and down. After that I will go straight home and get cleaned up and ready to go to San Francisco.

A lesson to all other Fodorites...I got very bad information regarding the use of my air credit. Initially I was told by an Alaska Air rep that I could only use the $600 air credit on Alaska Air. So, I limited my search pretty much to the Pacific Northwest and Pacific regions of Mexico where Alaska Airlines has direct routes from the Los Angeles area. However, it was only while calling to book my flight to San Francisco that I was informed that I could also use the air credit on their travel partners, American Airlines and Continental Airlines! That would have opened up the entire continental USA to me, and beyond! However, with my options so seemingly limited, I waited until the last second to use my air credit and I ended up basically having to pay 2.5 times the best rate to San Francisco, instead of planning ahead and going somewhere like New Orleans, Charleston (South Carolina) or somewhere else that would have interested me. I would have had three nights available to me, but I guess it was not meant to be this time. Travel malpractice?!

Anyway, I am looking forward to San Francisco and my stay at the Ritz Carlton. Initially I balked at paying $275 per night, but then I reminded myself that I am mostly paying more per night for the majority of my upcoming holiday. Whether foreign or domestic, life is too short for cheap hotels!!!
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May 17th, 2003, 09:35 AM
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I'm with you about life being too short for cheap hotels. Especially when you're talking about an anniversary! Good job, you'll have a wonderful time.

About SA... I was a little surprised by this article but then thought it was mostly due to the crime against British tourists in the news at that time last year. But then we have a new poster today who has a daughter who's spent the last year in Africa and they're concerned about safety in Cape Town.
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May 17th, 2003, 06:35 PM
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Hi Roccco,
I am so looking forward to coming to San Francisco as well. I have very good friends in california & was invited to a private showing of various art collections by a dear friend of mine. My other friend has invited me out to Santa Barbara to meet some other people but I'm waiting for my son to settle in a bit before I make the arrangements & will very much look forward to exchanging info & photos with you re one of my favourite destinations and can't wait to get a detailed report after you're back.
San Francisco is a wonderful city-I enjoyed myself immensely on my last visit.
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May 17th, 2003, 06:45 PM
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Roccco, getting way off track from original post here, but if you ever make that New Orleans trip, let me know at [email protected]. Would be glad to give you the local scoop on restaurants, hotels, sights. So many of your posts on Africa have been very helpful to me and I would be glad to return the favor!
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May 17th, 2003, 09:18 PM
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Thanks! I think what I am going to begin doing is taking one major foreign vacation that will be 2-3 weeks and then a couple shorter holidays each year, mostly within the Continental U.S.A., Canada and Mexico, 3-4 nights in length.

New Orleans, Charleston, Vancouver and New York City definitely top the list of cities that I have not visited that I hope to visit soon.
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May 19th, 2003, 03:01 AM
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I have comment both on the original posting as well as where the thread ended up!
Research and opinion surveys form part of my field, and all I can say is you can prove just about anything with statistics. The article does not mention if the people surveyed have actually travelled to SA or not. It's a case of perception vs reality. As a general caution to all visitors to SA, be sensible. Yes there have been some awful experiences for tourists to SA - just as happens in other countries the world over. Follow common sense precautions that you would in any other country and you will be fine.
Now onto where the thread ended up ...
Rocco - after Durban, New Orleans is my absolute favourite city in the world. You will love it! What makes it best is the people you meet just wandering around. I've also been to New York City (one year prior to 9/11) and while I thoroughly enjoyed the city and all its' sites, I found New Yorkers generally unfriendly. I guess that comes from a few million people crammed onto one island. It may have changed since.
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May 19th, 2003, 03:47 AM
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I can't say I noticed this article and I obviously can't speak for "most" Brits, let alone all.

But I know that SA is becoming a more and more popular destination amongst British travellers, so clearly, not all Brits, myself included, feel the same way.

I am very very eager to visit SAfrica, but since there are other (non-African) destinations on our list, we're trying to mix them up a bit. I really have a longing to return to Namibia and Botswana again as soon as possible, so that's our 2004 trip, but the following trip to Africa will be SAfrica or possibly even East Africa.
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May 19th, 2003, 06:11 AM
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You will love the Ritz Carlton in SF - but that climb up the hill is a killer - but worth it! Enjoy! And if you're interested in seafood, french bistro Plouf, and counter service at Swan Oyster Depot. Avoid Hawthorne Lane restaurant like the plague! Pazzia on 3rd street is a terrific Italian place - moderate.
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