Author(s): Bazaz R, Green E, Green ST
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Over the past 20 years, there has been a steady growth in the number of reported cases of malaria in the UK. With increasing Internet flight sales over recent years, online travel operator websites may be the only place many travellers could conceivably receive pre-travel malaria prevention advice. METHODS: 29 Travel operator websites which allow for online flight purchases to malarious areas from the UK, identified using a Google(®) web search and the website of the International Air Transport Association, were assessed for the existence, accuracy and accessibility of malaria prevention advice available through internal and external website links. RESULTS: Eight (28\%) websites provided malaria prevention information on their own pages. Five (17\%) websites contained country specific malaria information relevant to the requested destination, including variation of malaria risk within that country and accurate destination specific chemoprophylaxis advice. No malaria information was available, either on internal or external links, on 8 (28\%) websites. On average, it took 2.4 additional mouse clicks to access malaria information during the online flight booking process. Six of the 29 websites (21\%) allowed for access to information with only 1 click. CONCLUSIONS: Malaria prevention information on online travel operator websites is most often absent or inadequate. Even on websites where such information is of good quality, it can be difficult to access. The travel industry should introduce and enforce guidelines for the malaria information provided by online travel operators. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Travel Med Infect Dis
and referenced in Journal of Tourism & Hospitality