At ITIJ HQ, we’re definitely feeling optimistic about being able to travel this year, following the announcement of the UK’s new roadmap out of lockdown. Cautiously optimistic, of course, but we’re naturally keeping a close eye on how things unfold. As such, in this issue, we have what has become our usual round-up of lockdown news, where we look at the most recent international border openings and closures, quarantine initiatives, and travel bubbles; we look at the latest on Covid vaccine rollouts and testing requirements; and we have positive news of moves by travel industry bodies – including airlines, hotel and tourism boards – to promote traveller peace of mind and encourage trips.
As we’ve seen over recent months, some of these initiatives have involved offering free travel insurance to customers, and such offerings continue apace. Likewise, more and more airlines are trialling digital health passports, all to great success. Only the unequal distribution and rollout of vaccines around the globe is going to determine the pace at which we return to ‘normal’ on an international scale. In the meantime, despite whether the UK, or any other country, gets a ‘holiday season’ this summer, one thing is for sure – domestic travel is going to be a significant sector in 2021. With Canada's 'no sail’ order, the grounding of Boeing 777s, and Crystal cancelling its ski season, the travel industry has taken some more hits this month, but the desire to ‘get away’ has never been greater. With added environmental considerations of international travel coming to the fore of people’s minds, domestic travel could see its best year, in many markets, for a long time.
Check out our thought leadership piece from Jeremy Murchland, President of Seven Corners in the US, for his insights on travel recovery, and how travel insurers need to adapt to customers’ needs in a post-pandemic world. Our Company News and IPMI pages are also full of the latest information on product launches, industry achievements and company partnerships. And, elsewhere in this issue, our feature article looks at the evolution of claims management, what it takes to get it right, and the benefits if you do.
We hope that in-person meetings will be back on the agenda this year, and we’re working hard on our ITIC plans. A full list of our forthcoming conferences can be found inside, and we very much hope to see you there!