Journalist and producer based in Spain working for UK press. My focus here is safe travel and tourism in Spain. I also cover current affairs, business, architecture and rural regeneration, and work / have worked for The Guardian, BBC, FT, The Times, Conde Nast Traveller, Business Life, Reader's Digest, Evening Standard.
Health insurance is set to overtake sea view, free parking and breakfast included as a perk for hotel guests traveling in the ‘post’ COVID-19 period.
Over and above adherence to stringent hygiene and social distancing protocols drawn up by the Spanish government, hotels have been adding their own health safety assurances in order to cajole a jittery market ranging from COVID tests immediately on arrival to health packs (masks and gel) in the rooms and medical insurance packages.
Palladium, with hotels in Costa del Sol, Tenerife and Ibiza, offers free COVID-related medical cover to guests booking direct or through tour operators. The Stay Safe Plus insurance includes cover for medical expenses, hospitalisation, hospital transfers, and extended stays of up to 10 days. ‘Your security is our promise’, they say.
Similarly, Casual Hotels provides health care coverage that includes medical expenses (up to €100,000), hospital transfers, and a free video consultation service with doctors, 24/7. Barceló offers free virtual medical consultancy services (English, French and German as well as Spanish and Catalan) for guests booking direct, as does Accor.
Independent hotels are also gaining competitive advantage by offering health protection assurances. Vivood Hotel Paisaje enjoying a rural location in the Gualalest valley, Alicante, has designed a Garantía 360, which includes free insurance, medical attention, medical repatriation and travel medical assistance, delivery of medicine, travel and accommodation expenses for fellow traveller, free accommodation where required by health authorities.
The Canaries and the Balearics are working more collaboratively. In Ibiza, Hotel La Noria in Platja d’en Bossa has been designated as a quarantine hotel for tourists testing positive while visiting the island. While in the Canaries, hotel associations Ashotel, FEHT, Asolan and Asofuer have worked together to negotiate insurance cover for member hotels covering Covid-related medical assistance, video consultations, repatriation, medically-prescribed extended hotel stays and cancellations.
These are COVID-related measures and short-term. Feel safe, be safe, all safe, stay safe: always check the small print. Terms and conditions may vary.
© Sorrel Downer