Access to the internet, coupled with incentives offered by airlines, has allowed us to travel across the world more than ever. However, there has been an increase of terrorist threats directed at some of the most loved tourist destinations together with natural disasters.
A recent example is Mexico, which was rocked by two catastrophic earthquakes last year. The quakes which were only weeks apart caused the death of 360 people together with the destruction of infrastructure.
Given the current effects of climate change, it is becoming hard to identify a destination that is not likely to be ravaged with natural disasters.
If you look at Europe, which was once counted as a safe continent in terms of hurricanes, active volcanoes and earthquakes, it, too, is now experiencing bad weather often.
For instance, Greece experienced destructive wildfires that saw 70 people dead and a tourist resort totally destroyed. At the same time, a British couple died while on holiday in Majorca when heavy rains caused sudden flash floods that swept Sant Lorenç.
Surprisingly, these incidences have not deterred the British from going abroad on holiday. In fact, according to a report by ABTA, the number of people who travelled for holiday this year increased by 60%, making it the highest number since 2011.
However, the travellers are cautious of places that seem to have frequent terrorist attacks. A survey done by Travel Advisor stated that 63% of the respondents would not visit places that have experienced terrorist attacks lately. However, this contradicts a report by ABTA dubbed Holiday Trends Report 2018, which shows that the bookings in Turkey, Tunisia, and Egypt increased significantly even after the attack at Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel three years ago that left 38 people dead, 30 of whom were British.
On the other hand, it is unfortunate that most of these countries that frequently experience natural disasters are poor and lack updated systems meant to warn the locals of impending danger.
For instance, in the case of the tsunami at Sulawesi in Indonesia, government officials admitted that the 22 buoys expected to detect tremors in the water had been dysfunctional since 2012. The blame was directed towards the lack of funding and laxity of government agencies.
However, despite this, FCO reported that 360,000 Brits toured the Indonesian Islands last year, which is twice the number recorded in 2010.
Players in the insurance sector have now tailor-made their products and services to offer travellers protection from disasters when they travel. One such company is Insure4Retirement, who have partnered with Just Travel Cover and now offer a package named Crisis Response Service together with its Ready2Go Gold policy.
With this coverage, the traveller gets a phone number that they can call and have immediate assistance in case of a disaster when abroad. S-RM is the service provider and has a team of specialists on call.