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FEBRUARY 2020 • ISSUE 229


ESSENTIAL READING FOR TRAVEL & HEALTH INSURANCE PROFESSIONALS


SPECIAL REPORT


Air ambulances ensnared in surprise medical bills debate


BALANCE BILLING


P.12


FEATURE


Meeting the evolving cover needs of spring breakers


SCHOOOL’S OUUUT


Are ‘party towns’ safe for tourists?


Recent cases have highlighted the issue of tourist safety in European resorts renowned for parties, heavy drinking and never-ending nightlife


Ayia Napa on the Greek island of Cyprus is a booming tourist resort that has long attracted young and – for some anyway – hedonistic tourists. According to statistics from Cystat, the relatively small island welcomes almost four million tourists each year. In 2018, Britain constituted the main source of tourism for Cyprus for December of that year (30.1 per cent), followed by Greece (14.8 per cent), Russia (9.4 per cent) and Israel (8.7 per cent). A quick search on the Internet, however, quickly reveals a dark underside to places like Ayia Napa, and Magaluf in Spain, where days spent in the sun drinking cocktails end in a more sinister manner at night.


Sexual violence against tourists While many travel insurers will be used to seeing claims for rehydration as a result of intoxication, broken bones following a fall along a party street,


CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 World on high alert as novel coronavirus cases triple


The World Health Organization has identified a mystery virus that has sickened people in China and neighbouring countries as the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) – an outbreak that could be considered a public health emergency of international concern


The novel coronavirus, also known as Wuhan coronavirus, refers to a new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City in China. It has so far


resulted in more than 400 confirmed human infections in China and exported cases in Thailand, Japan and South Korea. It has been linked to a seafood and animal market, suggesting a possible zoonotic origin; investigations are underway to unearth more about the virus. It was initially believed that the virus could not easily be transmitted between humans, but on Monday 21 January, China’s National Health Commission confirmed the first examples of it spreading from human to human, with medical workers among


those infected. The virus causes symptoms of viral pneumonia and, at the time of writing, has led to nine deaths – although according to officials, these appear to be in cases where patients had pre-existing, often underlying, health conditions. A number of countries in Asia and three US airports have begun screening passengers from central China in an effort to contain the disease, and the first case has since been confirmsed


CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 CONTINUED ON PAGE 4


P.30


Your essential guide to suppliers for the global travel and health insurance industry


SERVICE DIRECTORY


P.41


Ireland urges its citizens to secure comprehensive travel insurance


The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFA) has revealed that over 1,700 Irish citizens requested consular assistance abroad in 2019


Ireland’s Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney has highlighted the fact that many of the Irish citizens who requested assistance over the course of last year were caught up in major accidents and incidents overseas, including the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, the ongoing protests in Hong Kong and political instability in South America. “Irish citizens continue to travel more often and more widely than ever before – meaning a greater frequency and complexity of consular cases. This presents ever-growing challenges in


COSTA RICA


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