Older, richer gap-year travellers are heading for some of the world's riskiest robbery hotspots.

These "grown-up gappers" are more than 55-years-old, make up two-fifths of gap-year travellers and carry an average of £3,000 on each trip, according to International Currency Exchange. Some go to African and Latin American destinations where there are high levels of theft. One in six visitors to Costa Rica, for example, can be affected by theft of personal property.

Three quarters of the muggings in Argentina, Columbia, Indonesia and South Africa are committed by armed offenders, whereas in Argentina, almost 50 per cent are victims of corruption, in particular at hotels and in shops.

About 520,00 Britons are expected to be involved in gap-year travel this year, with 90,000 taking a career break and 200,000 aged over 55.

International Currency Exchange senior director Peter Ibbetson said: "It is essential that travellers are aware of the dangers before jetting.

"Our findings highlight the high levels of personal theft and consumer fraud. Travellers carrying cash can become prime targets for muggings if they do not take the necessary precautions."