Poor Road Conditions Impact Safety of Visiting Albania, Report Finds

International SOS has published its annual report detailing the most dangerous places to visit globally. Those designated as the safes include Finland, Norway, and Iceland, with no-go countries including Libya, Somalia, Venezuela, and Afghanistan.

According to the data collected for 2019, Albania is a medium risk country for travellers, mainly due to road conditions and risk of accidents. The most recent data puts the mortality rate from road accidents at between 10-19.9 per 100,000 of the population, higher than its neighbours North Macedonia, Kosovo and Greece but similar to Montenegro and Bosnia Herzegovina.

The travel security risk was listed as low, the same as most of the Balkans with the exception of Kosovo which is rated as medium. This means that in Albania violent crime rates are low and civil unrest is uncommon. It also means there are no significant terrorist threats in the country and that security and emergency services are effective.

When it comes to the availability of quality healthcare, however, Albania fares as medium with decent care only available from selected providers. It adds that there is limited specialist dental care and some illnesses and injuries may require evacuation.

The report is also accompanied by that of ‘Business Resistance’, a survey of over 1,300 professionals in 214 countries responsible for business travel decisions, as reported by Monitor.al. According to the survey, 47% of business travel planners predict risks to increase this year in 2020, due to a strong assault on security threats, civil unrest, geopolitical unrest and natural disasters.

According to Matthew Bradley, regional director of security at International SOS, the number one risk for 2020 is the risk of geopolitical change. “Civil unrest is created by inequality and people wanting to have a different situation in their country than they had in the past,” says Bradley. “We have seen it mostly in Hong Kong, in other lower-risk countries like Chile and in some higher-risk countries like Bolivia, Ecuador and Lebanon.”

According to INSTAT, someone dies on Albania’s roads on average, every two days.