Government lists of “do not travel to” places

This is what shows up when you open the Australian government’s federal travel website, Smart Traveler:

The website also warns travelers that if they choose to travel to a list of over 55 countries, they must do so only with a high-level of caution.

It’s great that the government shares information with their people, ensuring their safety when they travel abroad. But is it effective?

In theory, you can read the newspaper and know what’s happening around the world, which would eliminate the need for this website. However, the document — prepared by ‘assessments from Australian missions overseas, threat assessments from spy agencies’ — promises information about countries you wouldn’t normally have access to.

The US State Department website has a similar category in their travel section. However, it’s more subtle than the Australian one as it only lists updated travel warnings to about 30 countries.

My question is: how seriously do you take such websites? Do they influence your decision on where to travel?