A range of studies have revealed a dramatic decrease in business travel expenditure for 2009, as employers seek ways to reduce costs in the current economic climate. The studies were conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), consultants KPMG, the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) and the Amadeus Hospitality Group, and have cohesively shown that business travellers will be making fewer, shorter and cheaper corporate trips this year.
Dr Saleh Malaikah, chairman of Best Re, has said that despite the economic downturn, the Islamic financial system remains strong, and takaful is predicted to continue growing at an impressive rate over the next two years, even if the growth witnessed in the past few years has been much higher.
According to the World Health Organization, on 10 May 2009, 29 countries have officially reported 4379 cases of influenza A(H1N1) infection. Mexico has reported 1,626 laboratory confirmed human cases of infection, including 45 deaths. The United States has reported 2,254 laboratory confirmed human cases, including two deaths. Canada has reported 280 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death. Costa Rica has reported eight laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death.
American Express has recently won a trial that took place in California in a case that involved a class of customers who claimed that they were collectively charged hundreds of millions of dollars for travel insurance policies that were never issued.
From 1 January this year, travel agents or tour operators in the UK selling travel insurance alongside a travel or holiday booking are no longer exempt from regulation by the country's financial services watchdog, the Financial Services Authority (FSA). But according to new research by World First Travel Insurance, three months after these new rules came into effect, a quarter of holiday firms selling, arranging or advertising travel insurance are doing so in a way that contravenes FSA rules, and in some cases is illegal.
US President Barack Obama's decision to ease a handful of restrictions on relations with Cuba is seen by American tourism and business entrepreneurs as only one small step in a tug of war with though adversaries that still has a long way to go. Milan Korcok reports
According to the World Health Organization, 985 cases of H1N1 flu have now been officially reported across 20 countries. Mexico has seen 590 cases that have been confirmed by a laboratory, with 25 deaths; in the US, there have been 226 reported cases and one death. Canadian health officials have also confirmed 85 cases with no deaths, with a further four cases reported in other parts of the Americas. The UK's Health Protection Agency has confirmed 27 infections with no deaths, while Spain has 40 confirmed cases, none fatal.
Below is a summary of advice and warnings from various governments around the world, along with input from insurers, doctors and risk analysts about the swine flu outbreak that is currently spreading throughout certain parts of the world. All advisories were correct on 29 April 2009.