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Reducing the health risks associated with travel

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All travel has associated health risks that need to be recognized not only by travellers, but also by tour operators and governments. In this context, the author considers some of the infections that have been contracted by package holiday tourists from the UK. With 15 million package holidays sold in the UK each year and increasing consumer concern about health risks, health is now a major factor in customer satisfaction. Media exposure and possible legal action when expectations are not met mean that the need to reduce the health risks associated with travel is crucial for the tourism industry as well as for travellers themselves. This paper sets out the main hazards and risks and examines what actions can and should be taken by tour operators, destination countries, and tourists. The author stresses the importance of ensuring a proper health infrastructure in the development of tourist areas; the need for operators to stipulate minimum hotel standards, backed up by regular auditing; the responsibility of tourists to ensure that they do not expose themselves to unnecessary risks; and the significance of surveillance systems in the control of travel-related diseases.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: UK Federation of Tour Operators, Microdiagnostics (UK) Ltd, 55 Holford Road, Merrow, Guildford GU1 2QE, UK.

Publication date: June 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • Tourism Economics, published bimonthly, is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the economics and finance of tourism worldwide. Articles address the components of the tourism product (accommodation; restaurants; merchandizing; attractions; transport; entertainment; tourist activities); and the economic organization of tourism at micro and macro levels (market structure; role of public/private sectors; community interests; strategic planning; marketing; finance; economic development).

    Fast Track. Tourism Economics Fast Track papers have been peer-reviewed, revised and fully accepted for publication. However, although these are the final versions from the authors, they are unedited manuscripts and will undergo a rigorous editing process before their appearance in an issue of the journal. This means that the Fast Track manuscripts may not conform to journal style in terms of presentation, spelling and other usages. They may also contain errors of typography, grammar, spelling, referencing, etc, all of which will be corrected in the processes of copy-editing and proofreading.
    Tourism Economics operates a Fast Track online publication system so that papers can be published and made available almost immediately on final acceptance by the journal. Each Fast Track article is given a DOI. When the paper is assigned to an issue, this DOI will automatically be transferred to the article in the journal issue.
    Fast Track articles may be cited using the DOI. Citations should include the author's or authors' name(s), the title of the article, the title of the journal followed by the words Fast Track, the year of Fast Track publication and the DOI. For example:

    Smith, J. (2013), Article title, Tourism Economics Fast Track, DOI xxxxxxxx.

    Once the paper has been published in an issue of the journal, the DOI will automatically resolve to that final version and the article can be cited in accordance with normal bibliographical conventions.

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