Simple, clear and uncomplicated - in recent years ever more Swiss travellers are booking hotel rooms online using platforms such as booking.com or expedia.com. However, there are risks involved. While a room may look good in the pictures and the (currently) low price my be irresistible, serious deficiencies may surface once you arrive... Beyond cleanliness, service or adequate facilities, the hotel neighbourhood might hold unpleasant surprises: high crime rates, large numbers of homeless people or aggressive drug addicts are hardly the ideal conditions for a relaxing and safe stay abroad.
Mass protests, street battles, and human rights violations: what began as a peaceful protest against planned pension reforms by the government of Daniel Ortega was brutally broken up by Nicaraguan security forces, triggering a fatal spiral of violence that has led to the deaths of over 300 people. There is currently no sign of the situation stabilizing.
The annual analysis for 2018 provides an overview of current and emerging points of conflict and offers an assessment of their development. This issue focuses on the Middle East with its rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia, who both seek to control the region. Tensions are expected in Europe as well, however: Poland is rubbing its citizens and the EU up the wrong way with its policies. A look at Latin America shows that the coming months will be decisive for Brazil: elections will take place this year, all while investigations into the Petrobras scandal continue and some regions struggle with growing financial concerns. The annual analysis cannot claim to be comprehensive. Rather, it is intended to provide assistance to Soliswiss members, travelers and Swiss citizens abroad as well as highlight developments.