Client Press Releases

Uk Travellers Could Pay The Price For Paradise This Summer

21 July 2009

Brits taking advantage of last-minute credit crunch deals to tropical destinations could be seriously risking their health, according to a survey of over 1,000 UK travellers.1

With the summer holiday season upon us, a survey commissioned by the Malaria Awareness Campaign has revealed that while over half of the 1,004 (52%)[i] questioned will consider travelling to a long haul destination rather than Europe this year, almost two thirds (63%)1 will think first about buying new clothes, looking good and working out what they will do when they get there, rather than seeking travel health advice to avoid potentially deadly diseases such as malaria.

Almost three quarters of those surveyed (73%)1 fail to seek travel health advice before they fly. This attitude was particularly rife among 16-24 year-olds, 78%[ii] of whom placed having fun and looking good at the top of their priority list. Only 4%2 in this age group said they would seek travel health advice after booking their bargain break.

Furthermore, of those who had already visited a country with a malaria risk, more than a quarter (26%)[iii] did not take antimalarials on their last trip.  Slightly less than half of those surveyed were not aware that Thailand (49%)1 and the Dominican Republic (41%)1 have malaria risks, despite Thailand being the most popular winter destination for travellers in 2008-9, with bookings up 18% from last year.[iv]

Between 1,500 and 2,000 travellers have returned to the UK with malaria every year for the last ten years, with over 70% of cases contracting the most dangerous strain, Plasmodium falciparum[v].

Despite increased awareness of the dangers of malaria among British travellers, an

average of 10 people return to the UK with the disease die every year.5 

Frances Tuke, representative of the Travel Association, ABTA, says: 'The survey results are particularly worrying as this year we have seen an increase in people booking last minute holidays, mainly due to the strong Euro against a weak pound making long-haul travel to tropical destinations particularly attractive.'

Frances continues: 'Malaria is increasingly a major health concern for British travellers who are travelling further afield. What's worrying about the results of this survey, is not only the ignorance that exists around the countries that carry a risk of malaria, but that travellers' consider more trivial matters a priority over obtaining vital travel health advice.'

While the trend for long haul travel bookings is good news for the tourism industry, it could be bad news for travellers' health: 'We know from studies that people who book their trips at the last minute are much less likely to seek travel health advice before they go,' says Dr George Kassianos, GP and member of the UK Malaria Guidelines Committee.

'Deaths can occur within 24 hours of the first symptoms of the most dangerous strain of malaria, so all travellers need to recognise the importance of speaking to their GP, practice nurse or travel clinic before going abroad. Ideally, appointments should be made six to eight weeks before travel, but even later than this, your healthcare professional can still recommend a number of options.'

Malaria is one of the world's biggest killers - but it is overall preventable if the right steps are taken, such as avoiding being bitten and taking antimalarial medication as instructed: 'With people visiting more exotic destinations and malaria hotspots changing over time, up-to-date health advice should be considered just as essential as renewing your passport,' adds Dr Kassianos.

For more information on malaria, please visit: www.malariahotspots.co.uk. To find out if your next holiday destination is a malaria hotspot, text the destination to 07800 000 571.

 

 

Malaria Awareness Campaign aims to educate UK travellers about the risk of malaria and encourage them to seek expert medical advice ahead of every journey.

 

TV presenter Kate Humble is this year's official campaign ambassador. Kate has travelled to Africa several times for work and pleasure and wrongly assumed she was immune to malaria - a mistake that nearly cost Kate her life, twice.  

 

Interviews with Dr Kassianos, Frances Tuke and Kate Humble can be arranged.  Case studies are also available.

 

 

-Ends-

 


[i] Survey of 1,004 people - Malaria Awareness Campaign Holiday Health Survey (2009), Tickbox.net, April 2009

[ii] Sample of 55 16-24 year olds from the Survey of 1,004 people - Malaria Awareness Campaign Holiday Health Survey (2009), Tickbox.net, April 2009

[iii] Sample of 443 who had visited a country with a malaria risk, from the Survey of 1,004 people - Malaria Awareness Campaign Holiday Health Survey (2009), Tickbox.net, April 2009

[iv] Winter booking figures for 2008/09 for UK holidaymakers departing by end of February 2009, Ascent Market Intelligence

[v]Figures taken from cases over a ten year period from Imported malaria cases and deaths, United Kingdom: 1989-2008, Health Protection Agency, April 2009. Available at: http://www.hpa.org.uk/webw/HPAweb&HPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1195733773780?p=1191942128262 [Accessed 30 April 2009]

 

 

BACKGROUND AND REGIONAL INFORMATION

 

National

9% of people do not think about malaria risk or seeking medical advice at all when travelling abroad

8% of people would compromise on travel health protection methods such as insect repellent and antimalarials if they were travelling to a country where malaria was present

28% of people first think about malaria risk or seeking travel advice as soon as they've booked their trip

18% of people would not seek travel advice if they booked their holiday last-minute

26% of people who visited a country with a malaria risk did not take antimalarials on their last visit

52% of people agree that the credit crunch and strength of the Euro against the Pound has made them consider last-minute long-haul deals outside of Europe

72% of people don't know that Mexico has a risk of Malaria

 90% of people don't know that Turkey has a risk of Malaria

 

East

6% of people do not think about malaria risk or seeking medical advice at all when travelling abroad

8% of people would compromise on travel health protection methods such as insect repellent and antimalarials if they were travelling to a country where malaria was present

33% of people first think about malaria risk or seeking travel advice as soon as they've booked their trip

17% of people would not seek travel advice if they booked their holiday last-minute

21% of people who visited a country with a malaria risk did not take antimalarials on their last visit

40% of people agree that the credit crunch and strength of the Euro against the Pound has made them consider last-minute long-haul deals outside of Europe

73% of people don't know that Mexico has a risk of Malaria

91% of people don't know that Turkey has a risk of Malaria

 

London

6% of people do not think about malaria risk or seeking medical advice at all when travelling abroad

11% of people would compromise on travel health protection methods such as insect repellent and antimalarials if they were travelling to a country where malaria was present (highest in UK)

27% of people first think about malaria risk or seeking travel advice as soon as they've booked their trip

20% of people would not seek travel advice if they booked their holiday last-minute

28% of people who visited a country with a malaria risk did not take antimalarials on their last visit

47% of people agree that the credit crunch and strength of the Euro against the Pound has made them consider last-minute long-haul deals outside of Europe

80% of people don't know that Mexico has a risk of Malaria (highest in UK)

 94% of people don't know that Turkey has a risk of Malaria

 

Midlands

8% of people do not think about malaria risk or seeking medical advice at all when travelling abroad

8% of people would compromise on travel health protection methods such as insect repellent and antimalarials if they were travelling to a country where malaria was present

31% of people first think about malaria risk or seeking travel advice as soon as they've booked their trip

17% of people would not seek travel advice if they booked their holiday last-minute

26% of people who visited a country with a malaria risk did not take antimalarials on their last visit

46% of people agree that the credit crunch and strength of the Euro against the Pound has made them consider last-minute long-haul deals outside of Europe

69% of people don't know that Mexico has a risk of Malaria

 85% of people don't know that Turkey has a risk of Malaria (lowest in UK)

 

North East

22% of people do not think about malaria risk or seeking medical advice at all when travelling abroad

8% of people would compromise on travel health protection methods such as insect repellent and antimalarials if they were travelling to a country where malaria was present

19% of people first think about malaria risk or seeking travel advice as soon as they've booked their trip

28% of people would not seek travel advice if they booked their holiday last-minute (highest in UK)

40% of people who visited a country with a malaria risk did not take antimalarials on their last visit (highest in UK)

50% of people agree that the credit crunch and strength of the Euro against the Pound has made them consider last-minute long-haul deals outside of Europe

72% of people don't know that Mexico has a risk of Malaria

 92% of people don't know that Turkey has a risk of Malaria

 

North West

7% of people do not think about malaria risk or seeking medical advice at all when travelling abroad

6% of people would compromise on travel health protection methods such as insect repellent and antimalarials if they were travelling to a country where malaria was present

21% of people first think about malaria risk or seeking travel advice as soon as they've booked their trip

17% of people would not seek travel advice if they booked their holiday last-minute

20% of people who visited a country with a malaria risk did not take antimalarials on their last visit

46% of people agree that the credit crunch and strength of the Euro against the Pound has made them consider last-minute long-haul deals outside of Europe

69% of people don't know that Mexico has a risk of Malaria

 89% of people don't know that Turkey has a risk of Malaria

 

Northern Ireland

30% of people do not think about malaria risk or seeking medical advice at all when travelling abroad (highest in UK)

0% of people would compromise on travel health protection methods such as insect repellent and antimalarials if they were travelling to a country where malaria was present

10% of people first think about malaria risk or seeking travel advice as soon as they've booked their trip (lowest in UK)

0% of people would not seek travel advice if they booked their holiday last-minute

0% of people who visited a country with a malaria risk did not take antimalarials on their last visit

50% of people agree that the credit crunch and strength of the Euro against the Pound has made them consider last-minute long-haul deals outside of Europe

70% of people don't know that Mexico has a risk of Malaria

 90% of people don't know that Turkey has a risk of Malaria

 

Scotland

13% of people do not think about malaria risk or seeking medical advice at all when travelling abroad

7% of people would compromise on travel health protection methods such as insect repellent and antimalarials if they were travelling to a country where malaria was present

22% of people first think about malaria risk or seeking travel advice as soon as they've booked their trip

23% of people would not seek travel advice if they booked their holiday last-minute

31% of people who visited a country with a malaria risk did not take antimalarials on their last visit

54% of people agree that the credit crunch and strength of the Euro against the Pound has made them consider last-minute long-haul deals outside of Europe (highest in UK)

57% of people don't know that Mexico has a risk of Malaria (lowest in UK)

 90% of people don't know that Turkey has a risk of Malaria

 

South East

12% of people do not think about malaria risk or seeking medical advice at all when travelling abroad

9% of people would compromise on travel health protection methods such as insect repellent and antimalarials if they were travelling to a country where malaria was present

27% of people first think about malaria risk or seeking travel advice as soon as they've booked their trip

18% of people would not seek travel advice if they booked their holiday last-minute

28% of people who visited a country with a malaria risk did not take antimalarials on their last visit

37% of people agree that the credit crunch and strength of the Euro against the Pound has made them consider last-minute long-haul deals outside of Europe

76% of people don't know that Mexico has a risk of Malaria

87 % of people don't know that Turkey has a risk of Malaria

 

South West

3% of people do not think about malaria risk or seeking medical advice at all when travelling abroad (lowest in UK)

7% of people would compromise on travel health protection methods such as insect repellent and antimalarials if they were travelling to a country where malaria was present

31% of people first think about malaria risk or seeking travel advice as soon as they've booked their trip

14% of people would not seek travel advice if they booked their holiday last-minute

27% of people who visited a country with a malaria risk did not take antimalarials on their last visit

33% of people agree that the credit crunch and strength of the Euro against the Pound has made them consider last-minute long-haul deals outside of Europe (joint lowest in UK)

74% of people don't know that Mexico has a risk of Malaria

93 % of people don't know that Turkey has a risk of Malaria

 

Wales

13% of people do not think about malaria risk or seeking medical advice at all when travelling abroad

5% of people would compromise on travel health protection methods such as insect repellent and antimalarials if they were travelling to a country where malaria was present (lowest in UK)

18% of people first think about malaria risk or seeking travel advice as soon as they've booked their trip

13% of people would not seek travel advice if they booked their holiday last-minute (lowest in UK)

31% of people who visited a country with a malaria risk did not take antimalarials on their last visit

33% of people agree that the credit crunch and strength of the Euro against the Pound has made them consider last-minute long-haul deals outside of Europe (joint lowest in UK)

73% of people don't know that Mexico has a risk of Malaria

 95% of people don't know that Turkey has a risk of Malaria

 

Yorkshire

12% of people do not think about malaria risk or seeking medical advice at all when travelling abroad

9% of people would compromise on travel health protection methods such as insect repellent and antimalarials if they were travelling to a country where malaria was present

37% of people first think about malaria risk or seeking travel advice as soon as they've booked their trip (highest in UK)

20% of people would not seek travel advice if they booked their holiday last-minute

19% of people who visited a country with a malaria risk did not take antimalarials on their last visit (lowest in UK)

45% of people agree that the credit crunch and strength of the Euro against the Pound has made them consider last-minute long-haul deals outside of Europe

69% of people don't know that Mexico has a risk of Malaria

 97% of people don't know that Turkey has a risk of Malaria (highest in UK)

 

 

 

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