Holidays are for relaxing, not for worrying! Who wants to worry about their safety when they're trying to de-stress? Unfortunately it's often easier to figure out which places tourists should avoid, than which countries will welcome them with open arms. However, Forbes Traveller has recently chosen the top ten holiday destinations, based on various studies. The choices are based on criteria such as the UN Crime Study and the results from this year's Mercer Rankings Study, as well as warnings from the US Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Some choices, such as Switzerland, peaceful New Zealand or glittering Singapore were to be expected, but there are some surprises in store …
ABC-Islands (Caribbean) The ABC of safety are the southern Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. The reasons? For hurricanes, they are too far south, they have low crime rates and a multicultural tourist-friendly population.
Dubai Artificial, but safe! Although Dubai is currently suffering from the recession, the country remains safe due to its multitude of CCTV cameras and its stable political and social climate.
Ireland According to a study from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Irish are European folk least inclined to violence! Perhaps they prefer to just talk their problems out …?
Cyprus A little miracle: smack dab in the middle of the Near East is an oasis of peace. This is probably due to the strong economic climate, impression education system, an emphasis on familial values - and two British military bases.
New Zealand This island has one of the lowest rates of crime and violence in the entire world. Due to its location, New Zealand is safe from tropical storms (too far south) and also from antarctic snowstorms (too far north). Not bad!
Mauritius Together with the Seychelles, Mauritius has the lowest rate of crime in Africa. So why is only Mauritius in the top ten? Well … due to its location much further south in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is safe from piracy!
Bhutan Located in the Himalayas, this kingdom is one of the safest Asian countries. Most of the people are poor, but due to their buddhist beliefs and high level of family values they are some of happiest people in Asia.
Switzerland Amazing but true: three of the five safest cities in the world are in Switzerland (that's Bern, Genf and Zürich, if you wanted to know). The only warning: watch out for your valuables when taking the night trains across the border!
Iceland Iceland has been most affected by the economic crisis, but the island's inhabitants have remained peaceful. The level of crime is still remarkably low, possibly due to the excellent education standards.
Singapore Almost a complete lack of natural catastrophes , a law-abiding population and a strong system in case of terrorist threats mean Singapore is as safe as they come …