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Thailand is top target for the 'roaming Irish'

THAILAND topped the list for Irish globetrotters in the niche exotic market in 2010. India and Vietnam followed closely behind, making South East Asia and India firm favourites for the "roaming Irish" last year, the Tropical Medical Bureau said.

Brazil came fourth on its list of most popular destinations for Irish people seeking inoculations, followed by Cambodia, Argentina, Laos, Australia, Peru and Malaysia, the TMB said in its Top 10 listing.

"Last year over 20,000 people visited us at the Tropical Medical Bureau, pre and post their travels," medical director Dr Graham Fry said. "We're seeing an increasing number of people travelling through South America, with long trips of three to six months common.

"South East Asia is, not surprisingly, popular as it's on the way to Australia."


Compared with 2009, the top four destinations remain unchanged, but there were some surprises, the TMB said.

Australia dropped from fifth most popular in 2009, to eighth place, Argentina jumped into sixth place for 2010, having placed eight in 2009. Malaysia entered the Top 10 for the first time and Cambodia joined the Top Five, after featuring at sixth place in 2008/2009.

Meanwhile, the TMB said the new report by the Irish Health Protection Surveillance Centre on notifiable diseases was notable for its omissions.

Dr Fry said: "HIV remains a serious anomaly and its continued exclusion means that accurate knowledge of the state of this disease remains unclear."