[The profile of Israeli travelers to developing countries: perspectives of a travel clinic].

Shmuel Stienlauf*, Eyal Meltzer, Eyal Leshem, Pamela Rendi-Wagner, Eli Schwartz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The number of Israeli travelers is increasing, including the number of travelers to developing countries. This study aimed to characterize the profile of Israeli travelers to developing countries. Data regarding demographics, travel destinations, trip duration and the purpose of travel were collected on travelers attending the pre-travel clinic at the Sheba Medical Center during a period of 9 years. Between the dates 1/1/1999 and 31/12/2007, 42,771 travelers presented for consultation at the Sheba Medical Center pre-travel clinic. The average age was 30.8 +/- 13.4 years and 54% of the travelers were males. The female proportion increased from 42% in 1999 to 49% in 2006. There was a steady increase in the number of travelers attending our clinic, except in 2003 (coinciding with the SARS epidemic). Post-army backpackers (20-25 year-old age group) were only 43% of the travelers. Children (<18 years), and elderly (>60 years) comprised 4.4% and 4.6% of the travelers, respectively. The favorite destinations were Asia (55%), followed by Latin America (27%) and Africa (13%). The distribution of travel destinations varied significantly during the study period. Of note is the sharp decline in travel to Africa following the terrorist attack in Mombassa, Kenya (November 2002). The median trip duration changed during the study period, from 30 to 45 days, between 1999-2004 and 2005-2007 respectively. The majority (87%) of voyagers traveled for pleasure, 6% went for business, and 7% were representatives of governmental organizations. This study found an increasing diversity in the traveler population (more women, more children and older travelers) and more diversity in travel destinations. Disease outbreaks and terrorist attacks had transient negative impacts on the number of travelers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-562, 621
JournalHarefuah
Volume149
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010

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