School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Travel health perceptions

Travel health perceptions and practices of travellers and travel agents

Travellers visiting friends and relatives in in their country (or parents’) country of birth are a special group of travellers with unique risks. These travellers, called visit friends and relatives or “VFR travellers” are more likely to become ill during travel from a range of diseases such as typhoid and malaria.


 

Australia is a nation of migrants and more than a quarter of departing Australians are travelling to visit friends and relatives. One high risk group of Australian travellers are those returning to countries in South Asia, where the risk of preventable infections such as typhoid, hepatitis A and malaria may be high. In a recent Australian study of diseases such as typhoid, measles and hepatitis A, 45% of cases were migrants and their Australian born children who had recently visited South Asia, mostly in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Research that identifies health seeking behaviours and risk perception of travellers is useful in informing policies and programs that help protect travellers. Researchers from the School of Public Health and Community Medicine are conducting a large cross-sectional study of travellers who visit friends and relatives in countries in South Asia to better understand how we can prevent travel diseases.

Were you or your parent(s) born in a country in South Asia?

In the first part of the study, we are asking VFR travellers of South Asian origin, to complete an online survey about their travel health practices and the health risks they encounter when travelling to their country of origin. (Please click here to learn more about the study). Participation is voluntary, anonymous and confidential.

To participate in the online survey, please click here.

Are you a travel agent who specialises in travel to South Asia?

Travel health studies have estimated that around half of “VFR travellers” book their tickets through travel agents, especially independent specialist travel agencies. Travel agents are often listed as an important source of travel health advice by international travellers but little is known about the role travel agents play in the provision of health advice to VFR travellers and how travel health providers can better support travel agents.

In the second part of the study, we are asking travel agents to complete an online survey about their role in the provision of travel health advice to travellers. (Please click here to learn more about the online survey study)

To participate in the online survey, please click here.

For travel agents in Sydney, we would like to invite you to participate in an in-depth interview at a time convenient to you. (Please click here to learn more about the study). Participation is voluntary, anonymous and confidential. To take part in the interviews or learn more about the study, contact Dr Prakash Paudel, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Australia. Telephone: 02 9385 8928 or email: p.paudel@unsw.edu.au


 

Complaints contact

If you have any complaints about any aspect of the project, the way it is being conducted, then you may contact:

Position: Human Research Ethics Coordinator
Telephone: + 61 (2) 9385 6222
Email: humanethics@unsw.edu.au
HC Reference Number: HC15802