Pre-travel preparation practices among business travellers to tropical and subtropical destinations: results from the Athens International Airport Survey.Travel Med Infect Dis. 2014 Jul-Aug; 12(4):364-9.TM
The number of business travellers from Greece to tropical and subtropical areas has recently increased. The study aimed to assess travel health preparation practices of business travellers departing to Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
A questionnaire-based survey was conducted at Athens International Airport, from 1st of November 2011 to 30th of April 2013.
A total of 684 business travellers participated in the study; the majority were men (86.1%), of Greek nationality (95.3%), with tertiary education (90.8%) and employed (98%). Their mean age was 40 years; 62% and 26% of them were 35-49 and 19-34 years of age respectively. 84.8% were travelling alone. Most frequent destinations were the Middle East (46.8%) and sub-Saharan Africa (16%). For 23.5% of the travellers it was their first trip to a tropical or subtropical country. Only 58.8% pursued pre-travel health consultation; vaccination and malaria chemoprophylaxis were administered to 24.7% and 25.7% of the travellers, respectively. Hepatitis A and typhoid vaccination rates were lower than expected (70% and 35%, respectively). Nearly half of the travellers who visited malaria endemic areas did not receive any chemoprophylaxis. Having elementary education level, travelling to the Middle East or North Africa, travelling for less than 1 month duration, and staying in a house or a hotel were associated with a higher probability of not pursuing health consultation.
Significant gaps were found in pre-travel health practices of business travellers departing to Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Strategies should be developed in order to improve awareness of business travellers.