A hot topic between travelers is which cities or countries that are the most dangerous to visit. Everyone have their own opinion and the list of dangerous places is as long as the list of people adding a place to it according to their experience or what they have heard. The same goes for which places people think are NOT dangerous, and the two lists are strangely similar.
So what is the background to this phenomenon? Here are a few ideas of what can tribute to people’s opinion:
Mean world syndrome
Two of the biggest influences on people today are television and newspapers. Because bad news sell better than good news people get brainwashed and start to believe that the world is worse than it is.
Beliefs & Life experience
Any impression people are getting from ANYTHING is based on their base beliefs and past experience in life, which in turn is connected.
Different travel patterns
People have their own way of travel, their own personal style and preferences. Depending on if your travel is based on travel guides or companies, recommendations or pure improvisation you will much likely experience different things even when traveling to the same destination.
We usually base our impressions on who we meet and speak to, and even if people have the same travel patterns and style they will meet different locals because of general randomness in life. Even if the locals have a general idea of their own city the opinions differ a lot depending on their social status and living style, experiences and so on (beliefs & life experience). These opinions will then mirror to the travelers that meet them.
WHO is it dangerous for?
Another perspective is that people think if a place is dangerous for some people, it is also dangerous for them. There are for example a lot of places which are more dangerous if you are in a criminal gang or working as a police. But that doesn’t mean it is more dangerous for local people or tourists.
Posters in Guatemala City for lost or killed people