Feasibility of Obtaining Sufficient Numbers of Responses to Questions About Travel Intentions, Thereby Facilitating Effective Health Messaging

Document Type: Original Article


1 Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

2 RIWI Corporation, Toronto, Canada

3 Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada


Introduction: The medical literature has identified a variety of health risks associated with travel. Risks depend on the susceptibility of the traveler, the specifics of the destination, the mode of transport, and on chance events. Ill-prepared travelers who underestimate travel risks may encounter a variety of health problems. In order to eventually increase the capability of travel risk prediction, the current study aimed to ascertain travel intent in China, a country traditionally difficult to penetrate through online survey.
Methods: This pilot survey study used a reliable, anonymous, online survey method to determine the feasibility of obtaining a sufficient response in China to enable travel risk prediction.
Results: The results are encouraging in that seven and a half thousand individuals in China responded over the course of one month. Most responders were from urban centers. Three to eleven percent of the respondents were over age 55 and planning to travel to potentially hazardous destinations.
Conclusion: The combination of older age and geographic risk increases the chance of ill health during travel. Knowing who is planning to travel, where they are from, and where, when, and how they are planning to arrive at their destination opens a corridor to effective preventive public health programming and educational initiatives.