Please note – the views in the following feature are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Safe Travels Magazine. Before travel, we recommend that you always do your own research, read travel advisories and buy appropriate travel insurance.

In the spirit of looking forward to the new year and all the travel and adventures that it will bring, we thought you might be interested in the risk maps for 2017 from red24. The company has put together three maps, setting out the Overall Risk Rating, the 2017 Watchlist and the Kidnap Risk Rating.

You can view interactive versions of the three different maps here, which gives you an option to scroll over the different countries to find out more info.

We had a brief chat with Jeremy at red24, to find out a little more about the maps and how they were put together.

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Twitter: @red24

red24 is a risk management company delivering a range of products and services to businesses, organisations and individuals around the world. Part of these services includes a full suite of travel safety and crisis management services.

This week’s analysis originally ran as a security briefing from red24 and is reproduced with their kind permission. 

Could you explain a little bit about the methodology? Who puts this together?

red24’s 2017 Threat Forecast focuses on various political, security and kidnapping risks by region in the year ahead. In addition, the forecast explores various topics related to product risks and identifies the key cyber security risks facing individuals and companies. We also look at our investigative services and how essential these can be for compliance and risk control.

The majority of the document though focuses on global travel and security risks. At red24 the various regional analytical teams and specialist KRE analyst are always on point, monitoring, assessing and investigating key issues. In this regard they watch for patterns, incidents and developments that may alter risk in a country or region looking forward. This knowledge is compiled into the Threat Forecast which aims to provide an insight into what threats may manifest or worsen in the year ahead.

Where do they get their information from?

The analyst team gets information and data from various primary and secondary sources (open and privileged). These include numerous local, national, regional and international news and media agencies, as well as social media, where applicable; we also draw on various security-focused organisations, institutes, think-tanks and international bodies as well as a number of other high-end, subscription-based, intelligence providers. Various technical platforms are used to collate, identify and quickly filter online developments from around the world. In addition, we also benefit from privileged and often closed source intelligence from our network of security consultants around the world as well as local police contacts, diplomatic representatives and members of various international organisations. The information that we receive is assessed and analysed in an objective capacity and any discrepancies are verified and checked against other reputable sources.

Who is the intended audience?

The document is aimed at a broad audience from key decision makers who want to mitigate threats to their organisations and companies, to individual business and leisure travellers. While some areas of the Forecast are a broader assessment of security developments, the Global Risk Map and 2017 Watchlist are great practical tools for identifying risks globally.

How should non-business travellers interpret these maps? For example is it still safe to visit Mexico, the Philippines or Brazil?

A key first step for travellers, whether it’s for business or leisure, is to be aware of what risks exist in their destination. In this regard the maps are an excellent tool for identifying high, low or extreme risk areas, and seeing why those ratings are in place. With this knowledge in mind appropriate steps and precautions can be put in place to mitigate those security issues. While some countries may only require basic security precautions, travel to others may require further planning, preparation and security. While the map does not advise against travel to Mexico, the Philippines or Brazil for example it will indicate to travellers that there are risks to be considered. It is then recommended that those issues be investigated further.

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