Trekking popularity prompts warning

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Travel insurance

Aussie interest in adventure focused travel destinations is on the rise, says research obtained by Comparetravelinsurance.com.au. According to company data, there has been a significant spike in travel to mountaineering hotspot Nepal as trekkers seek to conquer new heights. Natalie Ball, director of the website, said: “October does not typically see growth in travel insurance quotes to any one destination apart from Nepal. Mild temperatures and increased visibility make this month the ideal time for trekkers participating in popular trails like Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna Circuit.”

ABS data on Australian overseas travel habits also confirmed the adventure travel trend with a 211-per-cent surge in Aussie visitors to Nepal in 2016. The potential dangers of mountaineering have been well publicised of late – this year alone, 10 people, including two Australians, have died attempting to scale Mt Everest. Just a year prior, a Melbourne couple suffered a fatal fall off a cliff face in New Zealand and a man was left in critical condition after a rock-climbing accident at Victoria’s Mt Arapiles. 

Travellers should be wary of the potential risks associated with pastimes like trekking and mountaineering and the level of cover available, said Ball. “Trekking trips are gaining momentum both on a domestic and international scale with Aussies keen to unleash their inner explorers. Whether they’re hiking the Himalayas or climbing Kilimanjaro, intrepid travellers should ensure they are sufficiently covered before participating in a major trek or mountain climb.”

In addition to purchasing travel insurance, Ball advised trekkers to pay close attention to any restrictions that may affect their cover. “Many travellers fail to realise that exclusions will usually apply to various altitude limits. Some insurers will exclude particularly steep ascents or treks in certain destinations such as Nepal and the USA.”

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