In COVID times, a travel insurance can be the hero when it comes to a destination’s appeal. It is widely believed that it’s a good idea for countries to offer insurance to travellers visiting them, and India should also take note of similar strategies when starting promotions in the international market.
Jyoti Mayal, President, TAAI
Insurance should be mandatory for international and domestic travel. I would recommend governments to have free insurance built in to promote tourism to their countries, inculcating confidence in the traveller and increasing footfalls. Travel consultants should guide their clients to take into consideration insurance cost when planning a trip. TAAI has been in dialogue with MoCA and MOT to make insurance compulsory, and let MOT be the primary policyholder.
EM Najeeb, Senior VP, IATO
Many destinations have tied up with insurance companies to offer travel insurance to their visitors. However, the first challenge is to alleviate the fears in the minds of people and put them at ease with regard to hygiene measures being followed. That said, an insurance offered by the destination could be an added attraction, though that alone may not suffice. If India has to offer it, it has to assess cost incurred and possible income.
Mahendra Vakharia, MD, Pathfinders Holidays
I am sure it will be a practical and critical service to offer by any destination, but only if the insurance cover is covering any expenditure incurred by the client at the destination if he/she has to quarantine, visit a doctor, undergo a COVID test, etc. Many insurance companies are still not clear on how and what will be covered in the existing policy for a client if affected by COVID. So, having a blanket cover will be a big inducer and influencer to consider the destination.
Riaz Munshi, MD, N Chirag Travels
A few destinations are offering insurance, and that’s a good gesture. At the same time, it’s a confidence-building exercise, sending across the message that the country is safe from COVID. This would give travellers the confidence that there is nothing wrong in the country and so these countries are coming forward and offering this. Hence, I think quite a few countries can do this. Passengers also have to be careful.
Sandeep Dwivedi, COO, ITQ
A travel insurance could explicitly add a level of security and comfort to the journey, even more when it comes from the destination of travel. Knowing that the destination you are travelling to is covering most of these uncertainties for a small premium should boost travellers’ confidence. The insurance can cover travellers from any unexpected changes in policy or for any contingency. Such an insurance will be widely accepted.
Inputs by Nisha Verma