The Fatal Attraction: Young Australians Traveling On The Brink

The Fatal Attraction: Young Australians Traveling On The Brink

Australians like to travel the entire world. In 2011 over 7.5 million Australians (or over a third of Australians) travelled outside the nation. Obviously, most Australian travelers abroad have fun visits without any accident or danger.

But sometimes they hit the headlines for the worst motives they perish as a consequence of misadventure, are victims of violent or juvenile offense, overdose on medication or as a consequence of both alcohol-fuelled violence or injury.

Already this season three young Australians have died in Laos, a normally peaceful destination popular amongst backpackers looking for an off-the-beaten-track adventure. Another Melbourne adolescent just narrowly escaped death.

Two of those deaths resulted from injuries incurred by”tubing” where individuals drifting in an inflated tyre inner tube try to sue river rapids, frequently drinking in riverside bars on the way.

A number of the tubers do to not factor in sharp stones, precipitous drops and whirlpools. Local tour operators don’t offer protective garments or head covering across the dangerous waters. So how do you stop young travellers from participating in such risk-taking behavior.                    

Risky Fun

For Australians of all ages, but particularly among the young, risk-taking is regarded as an essential portion of the travel adventure. Great American author Ernest Hemmingway motivated adventure travellers around the globe with his stories of travelling to the border.

Annually, tens of thousands of young Hemmingway inspirees visit Pamplona in Spain for its annual running of the bulls. Australians figure prominently among their positions and also one of those who believe that the sharp end of an angry bull’s horn, sometimes with deadly consequences.

Similarly, in February countless young Australians gather in the Full Moon Party held in the Thai island of Koh Phangan in which they’re invited, actually advocated by organisers to drink buckets of spirits to get the equivalent of $3 per bucket.

Taking dangers overseas, free from the hands of parents is regarded as a rite of passage for a few young Australians travelling overseas.

The dangers taken may vary from binge drinking, drug experimentation, base jumping, mountaineering and sexual promiscuity into seeing the crime-infested, seedy areas of overseas cities.

But accepting these types of risks can prove to be deadly and costly for authorities helping tourists in trouble.

Actual Consequences

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade yearly report shows some fairly telling statistics. From the year 01 July 2010-30 June 2011, DFAT attended 313 detained and imprisoned Australians abroad, 1,203 Australian who had been hospitalised overseas, 12,899 missing men and whined to over 24,000 enquiries from Australian’s who underwent distress or loss whilst abroad.

The taxpayers handed out loans totalling $325,000 to over 300 Australians who had emergency financial aid while overseas, most of the to cover repatriation expenses.

Not So Smartravellers

Paula Ganly, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)’s Assistant Secretary Consular Policy Branch, clarified at a UN World Tourism Organisation convention in September 2011 which DFAT’s Smartraveller effort sought to streamline and minimise the dependence on Australian travelers about consular services through three Important strategies.

The first would be to advocate passengers to take out traveling, the next time was to encourage Australians to register their travel programs on the Smartraveller site and the third party was to encourage passengers to carefully track the information included on the site about the nation they planned to see.

Whilst DFAT’s approach makes great sense to sensible travelers, youthful risk-takers are barely more inclined to enroll their travel plans together with the government than they’re with their parents along with DFAT’s own studies have borne this out.

Read The Fine Print

Laurie Ratz, by the Insurance Council of Australia pointed out in precisely the exact same seminar that there are particular patterns of behavior that are uninsurable.

A careful nice print perusal of most travel insurance policies may demonstrate that most travel insurance companies will not cover claims against policy holders whose deaths or accidents arise out of heavy drinking, drug-taking or mishaps which happen undertaking unorganised risky activities or game.

Many insurance companies will pay for loss or injuries sustained for men and women who take part in risky activities that are a part of a structured adventure excursion program, occasionally at a greater premium.

For travellers taking insurance out with the expectation it will pay everything, it is a case of caveat emptor, or buyer beware. It’s definitely worth taking the trouble to see the fine print.

As an excess complication, risk-taking travelers booking through online websites can expect much less after-sales assistance than they’d get from conventional travel suppliers like wholesale tour operators and travel agents if they need to change their return journey arrangements while still recovering from injuries sustained in taking extreme risks.

Laos Tourism

In light of the tube deaths in Laos and the potential negative consequences for the standing of Laos as a tourism destination, the Laotian Ministry of Tourism might opt to embrace a practice utilized by the Tourism Ministries in several nations to permit and set minimum security standards for many tour operators participated in adrenaline actions. In this manner, those passengers who decide to take part in tube is going to get an indicator of these operators that operate according with an agreed set of criteria.

Travelling On The Edge

For a small minority of travelers, taking extreme risks will always apply an appeal although there can be deadly consequences.

However, the travel business, government and insurance companies will need to send a very clear and unambiguous message to passengers that should they wish to take part in extreme danger behavior when they travel overseas, they cannot anticipate the nanny state they discounted will spring into their rescue.