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One of the oddities in financial matters is that a large number of successful Wall Street types make their money by betting on those stocks whose prospects are bad.  After all, the stock market can go down as well as up, and by successfully "shorting" the disappointing stocks, you can frequently do as well as those people who always look for the stocks that go up in value.
 
A similar phenomenon is at work in travel.  A great many smart vacationers do well by choosing the destinations whose tourism has plummeted downwards. If the reasons for such declines are incorrect and indeed foolish, then the tourists who persist in choosing such unpopular places will often enjoy better hotel rates and far less crowding.
 
I think of that contrary formula with respect to the city of Paris. Every one of the many recent returning visitors to the City of Light with whom I have spoken--and they are many—have told me of their delight in going there.  The city's hotels are lightly occupied and ready to bargain; the many famous museums are pleasantly uncrowded; the restaurants are eager for your business.
 
The current decline in visitors to France's capital (15% downward by most accounts) has come about because of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice.  Yet the streets in both cities are guarded as they have never been before—with armed soldiers very much in evidence—and a case could be made that Paris is today safer from terrorism than almost any other similar city.
 
                                                                     A gargoyle's eye view of Paris from Notre Dame (photo by JAc 82/Flickr)
 
The same with the many touristic locations in Tunisia.  Here is a country with some of the world's finest beaches and cultural attractions.  Yet its tourism is a fraction of what used to be, and the occasional visitor is having one of the best vacations.  Though Tunisia was recently attacked, its response has been to ramp up security measures as never before, and again a case can be made—from many reports—that the touristic locations of Tunisia are today more well-guarded and safe than many other resorts whose tourism numbers remain high.
 
This is not to say that several prominent touristic locations have not reached a level of safety that would justify your continuing to favor them.  Egypt comes to mind as a place whose security is extremely iffy.  The same with Turkey, home to an several active insurgencies.  Elsewhere, I have not heard enough about measures to reduce the Zika infestation that has caused tourists to avoid Puerto Rico and Miami, both of which are experiencing a sharp decline in their tourism. 
 
But I would continue visiting a great many other locations whose tourism is down.  In many cases, their response to the events that have frightened some visitors has led to safety counter-measures that make them safer than most.  Except in such unsettled nations as Turkey and Egypt, the chance of injury from terrorism is so mathematically slight as to persuade you to continue to enjoy the pleasures of travel.


Tags: paris, Brussels, tunisia, egypt, turkey, TravelSafety, Terrorissm, PuertoRico, miami, zika

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