Holiday Firms Claim Travellers Ignore Terror Alerts

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Terror alerts aimed at warning expats and travellers by governments about safety risks are largely ignored, claim holiday firm trade bodies.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) releases security alerts almost daily highlighting travel, crime and terror incidents worldwide.

In some cases, British citizens are urged to cancel travel plans or leave a country.

The latest general terror alert explains to travellers that they are in danger of attacks from supporters of the militant Islamic State worldwide, especially in Muslim countries.

Travel organisations accept the warning is sensible, but fear because the threat is not specific to a country, travellers will disregard the threat.

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The FCO warning said: “British nationals should be more vigilant as there is a heightened terror threat worldwide against the UK because of our intervention in the affairs of Iraq and Syria.”

Association of Independent Tour Operators Derek Moore chairman agreed the warning was too general.

A spokesman for ABTA, the travel trade’s main body, said: “It’s not likely anyone will change their holiday plans because of the warning but it’s a good idea to check the travel advice before leaving the UK.”

Zimbabwe warning

The FCO has warned expats in Zimbabwe that the country faces a state of turmoil as Zanu, the nation’s ruling party, holds an annual congress in the capital Harare.

“It would be sensible to avoid gatherings and demonstrations. The political situation in the country is unpredictable,” said a FCO spokesman.

“We advise expats to have a plan to leave the country quickly and to keep their passports and travel documents to hand.”

The FCO also warned violent crime is rife in cities with mugging, pick pocketing and jewellery theft common after dark.

Airport raid

Passengers in Papua New Guinea’s major airport of Nadzab were attacked and robbed at gunpoint by a gang of 30 bandits who went on to smash the airport.

Passengers and staff at the airport were held for around two hours as the gang ransacked the airport.

Nine security guards on duty were outnumbered and captured with the passengers.

The gang beat one man with a gun butt as the rest of the attackers rampaged through the terminal and offices, stealing food and anything of value they could find.

“Crime in Papua New Guinea is high and any visitors should reconsider travelling outside the capital,” said an FCO spokesman.

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