Insurers and destinations vie to provide virus cover

Lee Hayhurst

Insurers, destinations, hotel groups and operators are vying for business by providing cover for Covid-19 medical bills and cancellations. Amid a recent lack of cancellation

insurance for clients who have booked but fall ill or must self-isolate, one group of insurers claimed last week to be the first to offer it as standard. The CoverForYou, Cedar Tree

and Outbacker insurance brands, part of World Wide Internet Insurance Services, added Covid-19 cancellation cover to all its travel policies, underwritten by Axa. Last week, Tui-owned Spanish

hotel group Riu Hotels announced it will offer free cover with bookings made until the end of 2020. Riu Protect will cover medical

assistance of up to €30,000, accommodation and repatriation costs, and free cancellations to April 2021. It is also underwritten by Axa. Chief executive Luis Riu said:

“We want to offer our customers all the safety and peace of mind we can.” Destinations have also been

seeking to fill an insurance void. At the weekend, the tourism minister of

Alan Bowen

Lee Hayhurst

Alistair Rowland

Debbie Marshall

BAME Women in Travel welcomes corporate partners

The BAME Women in Travel initiative has launched a corporate partnership scheme to encourage firms to increase inclusion of people from ethnic minorities. Corporate partners will be

guided to set representation targets, boost the profile of existing employees from minority groups, establish best practice guidelines and set up cross-sector networks and interest groups. BAME Women in Travel was set

up in March 2019 and is a division of Women in Travel, a community interest company founded in 2014. It is calling for meaningful

change in areas such as ethnicity pay gaps and talent pipelines. The initiative will form tailored

Turkey, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, revealed plans for an insurance product that airlines and tour operators can sell to cover tourists’ medical bills. This followed an announcement

by Cyprus that it will cover the cost of accommodation, food, drink and medicine for holidaymakers who catch Covid-19 while in the country. Asia operator Experience Travel

Group has also moved to reassure customers with a “no quibble” refund guarantee for Covid-19-related cancellations and free change policy up to a month before departure. A lack of insurance cover for

Royal promotes Kings-Hodkin to

head of sales as MacKinnon leaves Royal Caribbean’s Torey Kings-Hodkin is stepping up from head of key accounts to lead the line’s UK sales team in the new role of head of UK sales. Sales director Martin MacKinnon is to leave the business in August to join a drinks company. Kings-Hodkin (pictured), a former Thomas Cook head of commercial partnerships, will report to Stuart Byron, senior director for the UK and Ireland, Spain and the Nordics.

8 25 JUNE 2020

coronavirus-related issues was raised by speakers on a Travel Weekly Roadmap to Recovery webcast as a major impediment to bookings. Debbie Marshall, managing

director of Silver Travel Advisor, said operators were “taking matters into their own hands” by allowing flexible cancellations and so negating the need for insurance. And Alistair Rowland, Midcounties

Co-op specialist businesses chief retail officer, said destinations would be “quite aggressive” competing for

visitors as travel corridors open. i Get Social, page 19

solutions for companies in travel to increase the level of black, Asian and minority ethnic people in the workplace. Educational Lunch and Learn

sessions will also be delivered to corporate partners, who can display a BAME Women in Travel Supporter logo (pictured) on websites and communications. Executive director Jamie-Lee

Abtar said: “The Black Lives Matter movement has shone a global spotlight on racial injustice and leaders in organisations are now being asked to step up and commit to racial and social justice and

Future of Tourism Coalition places

destinations at heart of recovery Six sustainable tourism organisations have joined forces with the aim of placing destinations at the centre of post-Covid-19 recovery. The Future of Tourism Coalition comprises the Center for Responsible Travel, the Destination Stewardship Center, Green Destinations, Sustainable Travel International, Tourism Cares and the Travel Foundation. It has agreed 13 guiding principles and will act under the guidance of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

equality in their companies.” i For pricing and to learn more about the corporate partnerships, email:

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