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FCO reveals latest British behaviour abroad trends

The latest British Behaviour Abroad report released by the FCO pinpoints two areas of rising concern, namely motorbike and moped accidents and the rising number of arrests abroad.

Thailand tops the list on accidents with 269 British deaths there in 2008. The figures mean that Thailand has the highest rate of deaths in proportion to the number of British tourists of any country worldwide. In the same period, an estimated 860,000 British tourists visited Thailand. The majority of 324 reported hospitalisations in Thailand were due to motorbike accidents and a high proportion are fatal.

Thailand has one of the world’s highest road traffic accident rates, almost all of which involve motorbikes. Thai law stating that  safety helmets must be worn is widely ignored, according to the FCO, which contributes to the high number of deaths each year. On average 38 people a day die in motorcycle accidents in Thailand. Further to that, some vehicles are not road worthy. The FCO says that many of the motorcycles and scooters that are available for hire in beach resorts are unregistered and cannot legally be driven on a public road. This could invalidate any travel insurance policy should the driver wish to make a claim.

On the subject of travel insurance, the report found that financial pressures are causing many British holidaymakers to forgo travel insurance in a bid to save money. The Foreign Office empahasize that getting comprehensive travel insurance means that, whilst an accident may disrupt your holiday, it won’t bankrupt you in extortionate medical or repatriation bills.

Equally worrying is the rising number of arrests abroad, with Spain a particular hotspot, where 2,032 Britons were arrested last year. This is higher than any other country, although, as a proportion of visitor numbers, the highest number of arrests was in the UAE followed by Thailand. The majority of arrests are drug-related, with one in seven relating to illegal substances. This is particularly so in Thailand where a quarter of arrests were due to drugs. The UAE also has a low tolerance of drugs, according to the FCO. Many Britons arrested in the UAE are transit passengers, who fall foul of the country’s strict drug laws, which prohibit some prescription drugs that are legal in the UK.  

This article is brought to you by Travelandinsure.com – specialist in ethical travel insurance.

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