The Spanish region hopes its plan to offer tourists free Covid-19 insurance will encourage confidence and drive arrivals in 2021.
Antonio Martin-Machuca, Andalucia’s marketing director, revealed the plans during a destination briefing at WTM Virtual yesterday (9 November).
Martin-Machuca said the region was in the process of appointing an insurance company to cover all visitors, tourists and non-residents from Europe who travel between 1 January and 31 December 2021.
He explained that tourists would need to book accommodation regulated by the regional government such as hotels, apartments, guest houses, pensions and camp sites.
“As soon as they get to the hotel they will fill out a form and if they are infected with Covid they are covered,” he said, outlining medical and surgical expenses, pharmacy bills, medical repatriation and up to 15 days extension of stay for quarantine purposes as covered under the policy.
“There is no age limitation to the coverage and it will be at no cost [to the visitor],” he added.
Martin-Machuca referred to statics that claim 30% of UK consumers will not travel unless there is a vaccine.
He said: “For that reason, in Andalucia we need to give confidence and security.”
While the region is currently under new rules that include: banning all but essential travel between cities; shopping centres, restaurants and non-essential shops closing at 6pm; a curfew from 10pm-7am; and a maximum of six people meeting including indoors, Martin-Machuca expressed hope in the market recovering.
“Between 22-26 October more than 1 million bookings were made to Spain. That means the UK consumer wants to travel,” he said.
He added that for summer 2021, future booking figures were positive particularly in the sun and beach and city break segments.