Ultraviolet radiation and the INTERSUN Programme

Tourism, tourists and tour operators

Sunny holidays

Tourism is regarded as one of the world’s biggest industries. In 2001 there were 639 million tourists who contributed 463 billion US$ to the world’s economy. Many tourists seek sunny and warm destinations as part of their holiday experience. However, sunburn is a common holiday experience that can cause considerable pain and discomfort and may lead to more serious consequences.

Evidence is showing that a short period of intense exposure, such as sunbathing, is associated with a 2-fold increase in melanoma risk. Unfortunately skin cancer rates are on the rise in many parts of the world including the United States and Europe. A part of the reason for the rise can be explained by the more recent affordability and accessibility of airline travel, particularly to warm and sunny destinations.

Tourism industry representatives/players can play a crucial role in minimizing the risks associated to sun exposure by disseminating information to their clients and by taking into account some few, but very important measures in their facilities as well as tourism services.

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