Due to the floods in Thailand, I have to write about travelling and risk perception. The floods are approaching the centre of Bangkok and many Bangkok residents are leaving the city. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against non-essential travel to Bangkok and 26 provinces in the country. Despite all the disaster news, lots of Swedes are travelling to Thailand these days. How does our risk perception really work?
Disaster news from Thailand
Just nu möts man av katastrofnyheter från Thailand. Man kan läsa i dagspressen om översvämningarna som närmar sig Bangkoks centrum och om svenskar som är fast i översvämningarna. Trots detta är massor av svenskar på väg till Thailand i dagarna.
How does our risk perception work?
Whilst many tourist resorts are far from the affected areas and are certainly safe to travel to, I can't help but wonder if our perception of risk is different when it comes to Thailand? It sometimes doesn't seem to matter if there are floods, riots or the risk of civil war. We go to Thailand anyway.
Exaggerating or downplaying risks
Another interesting thing is the news flow. Today, blogs, Twitter and travel forums are broadening the traditional news perspective, especially when it comes to a country like Thailand! A while ago, blogger Foki showed empty shelves in Bangkok's supermarkets, before leaving the floods for Hong Kong.
Some may benefit from exaggerating the risks, while others benefit from minimising them. (Like the Thai woman in a news report who said "I still rent out long-tail boats, but I don't say anything about the huge snakes I've seen in the water").