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TRAVEL/TOURISM AND HEALTH

by Dr PHUA Kai Lit
School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Monash University Sunway Campus
Bandar Sunway, Malaysia


TRAVEL/TOURISM

1. Issues Related to Tourism

Who travels -- sex, age, health status
When do they travel e.g. season
Where do they go -- how are health conditions at the place of destination,
how are the medical facilities there, is it a violent place
Why did they go -- type of tourism
For how long
Mode of transportation used

1a. Who is Traveling?
Sex -- male or female
Age -- infants, children, adults, elderly
Health status -- chronic disease, impaired or disabled, susceptible to motion sickness etc

1b. When Is the Travel Done?
Seasons and their associated health hazards
Winter -- snowstorms, avalanches, ice on roads
Rainy season -- floods, mud, increase in vector populations, landslides
Dry season -- dust storms
Climatic conditions
Storms e.g. hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones
Natural disasters e.g. tsunami, volcanoes, earthquakes

2. Types of Travel (Voluntary)
a. Adventure tourism
b. Ecotourism
c. Cultural tourism
d. Activity-related tourism
e. Small cruises

f. Educational travel
g. Work-related travel
h. Other e.g. military

2a. Adventure Tourism

Think about the possible health hazards associated with these activities:

Fishing e.g. deep sea fishing
Diving
Hunting e.g. safaris
Hiking
Mountain-climbing

2b. Ecotourism

Going to wilderness and other undeveloped areas to experience nature

Zoonoses, vector-borne diseases, animal attacks, exotic diseases such as
trypanosomiasis or onchocerciasis or schistosomiasis

2c. Cultural Tourism

Visiting archaelogical sites/ruins
Visiting non-natural landmarks
Visiting museums
Attending music/dance/film festivals

What are the associated health hazards?
Depends on hygiene and other hazards at the place of destination e.g. landmines in the Cambodian countryside,
assaults and violence in inner city areas of the USA etc

2d. Activity-Related Tourism

Pilgrimage e.g. Haj (health exhaustion, stampedes, fires, local diseases)
Whale-watching
Bird-watching
Spas/health tourism
Gastronomic
Events e.g. sports events

2e. Small cruises

Drownings, storms, pirate attacks, gastro-intestinal disease outbreaks on cruise ships

2f. Educational travel

Students studying overseas, short educational excursions

2g. Work-Related Travel

Think about the health hazards associated with these:

Animal-herding e.g. herding animals over large areas
Fishing e.g. going far out to sea to fish
Natural resource extraction e.g. oil prospecting (off-shore or in the deep jungle),
logging in the deep jungle, mining in remote areas
Infrastructure-building e.g. highway-building, dam-building
Normal business trips and conferences

2h. Other travel

Military e.g. combat, military exercises
"Sex tourism" --- "Sun, Sand and Sex"

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