A New Map Tells Travellers Which Countries To Avoid In 2023

Some dream destinations in the U.S. and Mexico may now be off the table.

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
​A plane landing on a lit runway.

A plane landing on a lit runway.

Your vacation plans may be in flux, as political, economic and pandemic instability restricts travel options in 2023. While Canadians ventured out of the country in droves last year, some dream destinations may now be off the table.

A new interactive map from Global Guardian shows the parts of the world experiencing the most geopolitical tension and highest risk of conflict escalation. This year, increased violence, health concerns and natural disasters are making trips to once-popular locales less advisable.

The U.S., Mexico, Russia and China have seen notable shifts in status.

"What catches people off guard is not paying attention to the warning signs and changing dynamics that transform a conflict from an abstract concept to a current reality," the site warns.

In North America, the U.S. has become a "moderate risk" for travellers, says Global Guardian. Moderate-risk countries have the infrastructure to "quickly and effectively" manage most crises and threats to personal security, but the security monitor notes that criminal activity, terrorism and natural disasters can impact travel.

Meanwhile, Mexico is now marked as a "high-risk" destination due to increasing drug cartel crime and violence.

"The drug war in Mexico is one of the most violent conflicts on the planet with cartel activity permeating many levels of the Mexican economy and society. Cartel conflicts continue to drive violence across Mexico, including tourist areas previously less affected, such as Cancun and Puerto Vallarta," warns Global Guardian.

Across the globe, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has the country marked as a "medium risk," or not fully secure. The ranking stems from political instability and inadequate law enforcement, which means travellers could be exposed to "increased criminality and sporadic unrest" with little recourse. There are also limited flights leaving the country and access to money while in-country has become increasingly difficult for travellers.

China reopened its borders in 2023 after a strict COVID-19 policy in recent years hindered in-country travel. An influx of new cases and escalating tensions with Taiwan should have potential visitors on guard.

Global Guardian advises informing yourself before booking travel to any country with a higher risk status and checking ahead for government-issued travel warnings before stepping foot on a plane.

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.

Sofia Misenheimer
MTL Blog, Associate Editor
Sofia Misenheimer is an Associate Editor for MTL Blog focused on gas prices in Montreal and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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