How the Migrant Crisis Will Impact Your Travel to Europe in 2016

How the Migrant Crisis Will Impact Your Travel to Europe in 2016

Will the Europe migrant crisis affect tourists in the region?

Most of us are aware of the huge humanitarian crisis we face in the world today. More than a million migrants fleeing from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Eritrea and elsewhere have surged into their neighbouring countries and into Europe and there is no denying that this has put huge strain on resources. Tensions run high and there is a lot of political discord. However, for the most part, refugees are being gradually settled (though not, arguably, in high enough numbers). For most lucky European residents, life simply goes on as normal.

Of course you must be aware of the crisis and its political ramifications. Of course you must be sensitive to the plight of fleeing migrants and local people. But if you decide to travel to Europe in 2016, in most places, shocking and upsetting as it may seem, you could almost ignore what is going on and it is likely to have little impact on your travel plans. However, the sheer scale of this problem means that there are some exceptions to this. There are some areas where the sheer number of people could potentially create difficulties with delays, hold-ups and problems and a few places where you might see upsetting scenes.

Also Read: 15 Experiences Every Traveller Should Have in Europe

europe migrant crisisImage credit: Freedom House

Choke points tend to be at major transit hubs and the entry points for certain countries. Hungary is one place that has suffered with huge influxes of people which has affected travellers at times. The Central Railway Station in Budapest was a huge problem point, though now the authorities have the situation under control. While you may experience delays travelling through the city, you are now unlikely to have to completely re-think your route. Throughout Hungary, as well as coming and going between some other Balkan countries like Croatia and Serbia, for example, delays may be long though you are not likely to become entirely halted in your tracks.

In Calais there have also been some delays though these are not as bad now as they previously were. Calais is a point where migrants are gathered in makeshift camps. Some have risked their lives trying to reach the UK. However, for regular travellers, there is no difficulty in reaching the UK. Wherever you travel, you will find that as long as you are polite and present the correct documents, there will be no problems.

Travel to some of the Greek islands, for example Kos, Samos, or Lesbos, would bring you face to face with the humanitarian crisis, as boats arrive across the sea filled with many desperate people simply looking for a new home where their lives will not be in danger. However, though the scenes are shocking and distressing, there are still tourists wandering along beaches strewn with rubber boats and other debris and strolling past tents housing refugees. A rather poignant message and one that tells us something about the state of the world.

how migrant crisis impact europe travelImage credit: Noborder Network

Also read: A Complete Guide to Getting Around Europe

Wherever you go in Europe, migrants are not considered to pose any particular risk to tourists. So do not consider avoiding Europe because of the crisis. Taking money away from the tourist industries of places that are worst affected would only worsen the situation. So travel, see the world and understand it better and hope that some day, people of all countries will be able to have the same privilege.

About Author

Elizabeth Waddington
Elizabeth Waddington

Elizabeth Waddington lives in rural Scotland with her husband and her dog. She is part of a small community who are trying to live as sustainably as possible. A professional freelance writer who works from home full time, she has over ten years of writing experience and an MA in English and Philosophy. She mostly writes about travel, sustainability and permaculture and has a particular interest in adventure holidays, camping, walking and sustainable travel. She travels whenever she can.


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