The Clever Travel Companion Updates
The Eiffel Tower... Pickpocket heaven? July 13 2017, 0 Comments
The Eiffel Tower in Paris is one of the sites that is probably on every single person's bucket list, at least every single avid traveler's. It's an engineering marvel and an iconic tower, representing France and known by all around the world. Something people perhaps don't quite know however is the plague of pickpockets that have used The Eiffel Tower as their area of operations for years now. They're very aware of the amount of valuable tourists that flock to the modern marvel at all times of the year, they're aware of their valuables and they're aware of how to dispossess them of such valuables, in fact they have made a very wealthy living out of it, with some reports suggesting they earn around $4000 USD per DAY off of stolen goods.
Security forces have had exceptional difficulty in trying to control the situation and even CLOSED the tourist attraction to the public back in 2015 as the situation spiraled out of control and staff staged a walkout due to abuse from the pickpocket gangs. These organized gangs use sophisticated techniques to ensure their bounty continues, like dressing up as tourists themselves and buying tickets to enter the attraction, rather than waiting on the outside. They also employ tactics like taking selfies or asking tourists to take part in fake petitions and ever targeting the public transport routes on the way to the attraction. It's not just pickpocketing that is the problem too, violent crime has become a worrying symptom of these gangs having been able to operate for so long. After all, their thievery is worth hundreds of thousands of Euros per year, which is then sent out of the country, often to the gangs home countries of Romania or Bulgaria.
75% of visitors to the Eiffel Tower are foreign tourists, that's a staggering 7 million people per year, which makes it the most visited, paid monument in the world and its growing year on year. This recent TripAdvisor review comes from someone who suggests the problem of pickpockets is not abating, despite additional security measures and several big arrests.
Naturally we would never suggest that you don't visit one of the worlds most famous monuments due to some silly thieves, you absolutely must include it in your bucket list of things to do. But be wary of course, try to outsmart the pickpockets rather than the other way around. Be on your guard, if you're approached by someone you don't know, keep your hands on your valuables - or even better, pick up some Clever Travel Companion gear. Outsmarting the rabble of pickpockets was precisely what it was designed for!
Rio 2016 Olympics - Here's how to stay safe and enjoy them! June 11 2016, 0 Comments
The Rio 2016 Olympics are fast approaching and many have already arranged their travel plans to enjoy the games but as with all international events, precaution must be exercised by travelers. Brazil, Rio and the Olympic committee have come under criticism for allowing the games to be held in a country known for its government corruption, slums and poverty, high levels of crime and in certain areas, failing infrastructure. It has been pointed out that while the games will bring prosperity to many in the region, they are likely to endanger visitors, causing them to be targeted by those that would use the opportunity for criminal intent and that the influx of visitors would cause local authorities to become over-stretched and therefore, ineffective.
The London 2012 Olympic Games
During the Olympic games in London in 2012, cases of pickpockets rose by 20% to 1,700 per day. It was reported that gangs from Europe and South America descended on the city in the lead up to and during the games for the sole purpose of robbing unsuspecting spectators. London is a safe city on a relatively isolated island, with low levels of crime and pickpocketing and is part of a safe and prosperous region in Europe.
Brazil on the other hand shares its borders with many countries that share the same problems and, as mentioned, suffers from high levels of crime and is ranked 15th in the world for homicide rate. Besides this, the most common crimes reported in Brazil are robberies, carjackings and in-particular pickpocketing for which, the rates soar during festivals and events such as carnaval, it is also widely accepted that visitors are not only "fair game" but directly targeted by criminals. There are also currently protests in Rio over a brutal gang rape that was filmed and posted on social media emphasizing the city's continued struggle with violent crime and its apparent acceptance of the criminal culture that's strong in Rio today.
Being a travel safety company we do try to stress the importance of taking care whilst on your travels, especially with world renowned events such as the Olympics coming up. It's easy to get excited about visiting new places and neglect your own safety so we simply try to remind everyone and make it easier for travelers to keep safe! Not least through our range of Pick-Pocket proof clothing, that said, most travelers will have a great time and not run into trouble but by following our tips, you can make 100% sure you wont! You can find more tips on how to stay safe whilst traveling here and learn to spot the most common scams that are set up to rip off tourists here.