Tourism’s Recovery: A Risky Business?

15th July 2020

Adequate insurance and financial protection mechanisms are essential for tourism for to function. The industry needs to manage risk efficiently to restore consumer confidence and get business moving. The Covid-19 crisis hit only months after the Thomas Cook collapse, and presents severe challenges to a responsible return to sales and operations. The near total loss of cash-flow for over three months continues to present an existential threat for agents, operators, and throughout the supply chain.

In July 2020 ETOA and its partner ECTAA published a paper analysing the problem and pathways to reform. Urgent practical questions arose: were some risks currently uninsurable, and how should financially stressed SMEs navigate an increasingly complex market?

To discuss related challenges and opportunities this webinar featured a panel of industry experts:

  • Jan Richter, Senior Underwriter Surety and Vice President Products & Global Markets, Swiss Re
  • Rogério Gabriel, Director Comercial at SGS
  • Erik Jan Reuver, Director, Stichting Garantiefonds Reisgelden
  • Eric Drésin, Secretary General, ECTAA
  • Attila Hajdu, Association of Hungarian Travel Agencies MUISC

Moderator: Tim Fairhurst, Secretary General, ETOA

Note on polling data
86% of participants said that sufficient insurance cover for travel and tourism businesses has become harder to find at an affordable price. This would not only be inflationary, it would also threaten the continued viability of the sector. Experts questioned whether foreseeable risks were insurable in the current circumstances, with front line business reporting an increase in exclusions and excesses, and new market entrants struggling to find cover at all. Strikingly, 93% of participants said that future travellers will want personal travel insurance that covers financial loss.

91% of webinar participants thought the current Package Travel Directive placed an unreasonable burden of financial risk on operators and agents. Pending reform, it was clear that a market response was required to restore confidence and trading resilience: this would require innovation from the insurance industry as well as the travel and tourism sector.

Webinar polling data