Today the UNWTO's news update led off with this statement:
"100% OF GLOBAL DESTINATIONS NOW HAVE COVID-19 TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS, UNWTO REPORTS
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted all destinations worldwide to introduce restrictions on travel, research by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has found. This represents the most severe restriction on international travel in history and no country has so far lifted restrictions introduced in response to the crisis."
While it's no surprise to any of us in the tourism industry, it's the parallel impacts that will begin to reveal itself in the next few months. I received a 'heads up' from a colleague today that their insurance no longer covers COVID-19. Olympia Benefits sent a client email dated 25 April, announcing that:
"The provider of our travel medical insurance, SSQ Insurance, will no longer consider COVID-19 to be a sudden and unexpected illness. As a result, COVID-19 is not covered by the policy. This decision is effective April 6, 2020."
Thankfully most people are home now as the airlines are grounded to an unprecedented halt but it's time for every one of us in the tourism industry who travels (likely all of us or our guests) to:
1. Check with your insurance company (personally and professionally) to see if there are changes announced or coming.
2. Connect with your insurance broker to advise him/her to keep an eye out for your potential need to change policyholders to one that will respond to your evolving insurance needs with the recovery of Covid, so you are only paying for what you currently need.
3. Review are you paying for anything right now, that you could eliminate while you are close to home (like many are doing with car insurance, trying to switch from work to leisure purposes). Every penny matters with an industry made up of small and medium businesses.
4. Examine your guest communications to see if there are any modifications or notifications you can be proactive in addressing.
And as Dr. Bonnie Henry's famous quote from British Columbia reminds us daily: