Stay Alert to CIA and State Department Travel Advisories Before Traveling to any Foreign Country

I traveled throughout the world for many years as a Tour Host for a major travel company. At times our tour plans were altered based on information from The US State Department or CIA. Wise international travelers have learned to follow these government briefings and bulletins.

Recently my youngest son traveled to Peru for a study program through NC State University. There were some mildly disruptive issues in that area of South America, including nearby Bolivia. If you are planning a Bolivian or South American trip be sure to get the latest information and alerts concerning the countries you plan to visit.

At the time of this writing there are somewhat escalated political and social tensions in Bolivia. These are reportedly due to the highly polarized nature of the Bolivia Constituent Assembly process.

Recent protests and demonstrations have led to numerous violent clashes. These skirmishes have resulted in casualties and mass injuries at various locations throughout Bolivia. The US State Department recommends that U.S. citizens hold off non-essential travel to Bolivia at this time until tension eases a bit. Even the U.S. Embassy La Paz is restricting the official travel of U.S. Government employees to Bolivia during this period.

Since protests and demonstrations can break out with little or no notice, U.S. citizens in Bolivia should monitor local media sources for the latest developments, according to the State Department. If you are now in Bolivia, or any foreign country, use common sense and avoid all demonstrations.

Strikes and road blockades are a constant risk in Bolivia and are likely to disrupt transportation at the local and regional levels. A traveler should never attempt to cross a blockade. In addition to affecting transportation, blockades and strikes may limit access to important services and desirable amenities.

During this time, the Santa Cruz Administration and Auxiliary Services of Aerial Navigation have suspended services in and out of Viru Viru International Airport. All domestic and international flights were cancelled for a period. As a potential traveler you should contact your airline and/or tour operators before travel for the latest updates and information.

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Bolivia are encouraged by the State Department to register with the U.S. Embassy in La Paz or the U.S. Consular Agencies in Cochabamba or Santa Cruz, Bolivia .

Registration may even be done online and in advance of travel. Travel can be a great adventure, especially when traveling smart and safely.

E. Lee Reid is a hospitality, travel and leisure, Disney timeshares, vacation real estate, and construction industry expert. He and his companies have successfully built or managed thousands of vacation resort condos and homes at multiple resorts in North Carolina and Florida. In recent years he converted several hotels to condo hotels in the Disney World area of Central Florida. He is a widely quoted author and speaker. Reid holds an MBA and will complete a Master of Essential Hospitality Management program in 2008 through Cornell University’s world-re

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