Andalucia, which includes the ever-popular Costa del Sol beaches, as well as several of the country’s leading city destinations, says its package plan will cover medical and repatriation costs as it strives to revive a tourism sector that has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.
But its hopes to have the policy drawn up by mid-December and in operation by the beginning of January could yet be thwarted by the increasing number of cases recorded in peninsular Spain.
The Vice-President of the Junta de Andalucia regional government and Counsellor for Tourism Juan Marín warned on 2 November of possible local lockdowns having to be introduced – as has already happened in regions such as Madrid.
The insurance policy plan he outlined at the end of October would cover all foreigners arriving by any means of transport who have a booking in a registered hotel or other tourist accommodation.
It is similar to one already approved by the Canary Islands and, according to Marin, is aimed at ‘creating safe corridors for reactivating tourism’.
The plan forms part of an overall stimulus programme called Andalucía Segura (safe Andalucia) that the Junta launched in June to encourage people living there to travel around their region in the off-peak period of October to May.
The policy move was welcomed by José María Moreno, President of the College of Insurance Brokers for the provinces of Córdoba, Huelva and Seville, as offering ‘serenity and security’.
“Who will come out winning will be tourism and the hotels, those that truly need this aid,” he told the El Español news website. “It is a simple product that the Junta will contract in volume.” So that will also be positive for insurance companies, he added.
Like most of Spain, Andalucia has been hard hit by the Covid 19 pandemic. Foreign tourist arrivals in the region for the first eight months of the year were down by nearly 83 per cent to 1.3 million.