COVID-19 Travel Insurance Becoming a Vacation Staple and More Travel News

COVID-19 Travel Insurance Becoming a Vacation Staple and More Travel News

Mexico News

Wyndham Hotels Invests US$11 Million in Tulum hotel


Wyndham Hotels & Resorts announced that it will open a new 96-room hotel in Tulum sometime in the first half of 2021, part of a plan to open 10 new hotels in seven cities throughout Mexico during 2021–2022.


The new hotel will be named Esplendor by Wyndham Tulum. It will be located close to the tourist destination’s Mayan archaeological sites and a 10-minute commute to beaches.


The hotel’s opening, as well as that of the 112-room Esplendor by Wyndham La Condesa hotel in Mexico City, will mark the Esplendor brand’s debut in Mexico. Overall Wyndham Hotels & Resorts owns 58 hotels in Mexico under 12 brand names in 34 cities. Of those properties 53 are currently in operation


Despite the Covid-19 pandemic’s hits to the travel and hospitality industry last year, in the third quarter of 2020 Wyndham’s occupancy in Mexico was up 21.6 percent. Seventy percent of the company’s reservations worldwide in that period have been for leisure purposes.


International News


COVID-19 Travel Insurance Becoming a Vacation Staple


COVID-19 insurance policies are increasingly joining passports and sunscreen as vacation staples, creating opportunities for insurers as more countries require mandatory coverage in case visitors fall ill from the coronavirus.


Airline bookings are on the rise in some regions driving cautious hopes of a revival in summer traffic, but also raising fears among tourist destinations of getting hit with bills should vacationers become stranded by the virus.


More than a dozen countries from Aruba to Thailand require COVID-19 coverage for visitors. The market for all types of COVID-19 travel coverage is estimated to be between US$30 and $40 billion per year, according to travel insurance consultants, with companies like AXA and AIG underwriting protection.


But a surge in demand for COVID-19 coverage also means insurers could be on the hook for big payouts should another wave of infections lead to large numbers of cancellations or tourists getting sick.


COVID-19 insurance benefits typically cover treatment up to US$100,000 and could include coronavirus testing costs and services like evacuation or local burial or cremation. These benefits, introduced by insurers in mid-2020, are sold either as add-ons or as separate policies with coverage for illness or quarantine.


A travel insurance plan that includes trip protection, medical expense coverage for COVID-19, and protection for baggage and personal effects typically costs four to eight percent of the dollar value of the trip. 


While the pandemic has battered travel demand for coverage has created opportunity for the hard-hit insurance industry and a niche to develop new products.


For example, in June Seven Corners Insurance introduced an optional medical travel plan with coverage for coronavirus expenses. By year’s end, the product with coronavirus coverage generated about 80 percent of total medical travel plan sales.


Seven Corners also saw a 20 percent rise in travelers buying highly priced “cancel for any reason” policies in 2020. The policies cover cancellation costs related to the virus.


Some countries have mandated travel insurance for incoming visitors either by including it in their entry or visa fees or by requiring proof of coverage.


It is not clear how coverage demand will evolve as many more people become inoculated against the coronavirus. But it is expected that countries will continue requiring coverage as the vaccines “will take years” to roll out globally.


Deal of the Week


AmaWaterways Introduces its ‘Longest-Ever’ River Cruise Itinerary


AmaWaterways revealed that it will host its longest-ever river cruise itinerary in 2023 with the new “Seven River Journey Through Europe,” a 46-night experience that will travel through 14 countries on four of the luxury river cruise line’s ships.


The journey, which sets sail June 1, 2023, will carry 144 guests on the Seine River with a roundtrip to Paris, France, aboard the AmaLyra for seven days. The following five days, the AmaKristina will sail the Saône and Rhône Rivers from Lyon to Tarascon, France.


From June 13 to July 4, the AmaPrima will visit Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Netherlands on the Rhine, Moselle, and Main Rivers, traveling from Basel, Switzerland, to Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Vilshofen, Germany.


On the last leg of the journey, guests will sail the Danube River through July 17, visiting Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania aboard the AmaVerde, from Vilshofen, Germany to Giurgiu, Romania. 


Guests will have over 130 complimentary excursions to choose from with many all-new tours and exclusive experiences. Highlights include venturing to the historic D-Day landing beaches of Normandy, being treated to an exclusive visit to Lahneck Castle in Germany, and visiting off-the-beaten-path wonders in countries such as Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania.


Throughout their voyage, guests will visit 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites along with local epicurean experiences.


In addition to AmaWaterways signature amenities, the Seven River Journey will also include transfers between ships; complimentary laundry and portage service; all gratuities onboard and during shore excursions; and a dedicated Cruise Manager who will personally guide guests throughout their 46 nights onboard.


With rates starting at US$25,999 per person, reservations open for the general public on March 15.


Judy Newell, an international travel consultant since 1971, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes in unique travel experiences to destinations around the world. She custom designs journeys that are tailored to suit your interests, physical abilities and budget. Please contact Judy for further information on Travel News topics and around-the-world travel. Cell phone 415 111 8765; email


Sources: Reportur, Fox Business, Travelmarket Report