Customer engagement – ​​products and marketing

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Around the world, propelled by pent-up demand and “revenge” travel in the wake of the Covid pandemic, there has been a resurgence in travel. This is no less true in the Middle East, where the tourism sector will be worth US$246 billion in 2022, according to a study by the World Travel and Tourism Council, just 8.9% below the levels of before the pandemic.
Airports have never been busier and major airline players are rapidly regaining capacity to pre-pandemic levels. While inflationary pressures and economic concerns exist, unhelped by geopolitical issues, the outlook for travel is overwhelmingly positive in the region and there has never been a better time for those concerned with providing travel products. protection and travel insurance to travellers, to capitalize on the opportunity this presents.

Increase consumer recognition and demand

Historically, demand for travel insurance and related protection products has been lower in the Middle East than in more mature markets, with penetration likely below 10%.
A combination of factors has contributed to low penetration – including cultural and religious factors – but beyond that, many travellers, and in some cases the travel industry, simply don’t understand the value of travel insurance and the consequences of failing to protect yourself while traveling. Travel insurance is considered an administrative function for acquiring a Schengen visa, rather than a necessary and valuable protection product.

While Covid-19 was devastating, the pandemic demonstrated to the consumer and the travel industry the value of travel insurance and protection products. This is potentially a game-changer and in the future we can expect conversion levels and therefore bounty volume to increase exponentially. In fact, the beginnings of this trend can already be seen.
In several Middle Eastern markets, authorities have made travel insurance, including Covid-related medical risk coverage, mandatory to enter the country and issuing a minimum level of protection is a requirement of the process of Visa application.
Additionally, the business buyer is increasingly seeking to ensure that its duty of care requirements are met to its employees through master group policy agreements, a practice that no longer exists. there was no real boom before the pandemic.

Finally, travel insurance distributors, including the travel industry, have recognized the importance of providing the customer with travel insurance protection, and furthermore, the ancillary revenue stream this has created is increasingly no longer seen as a valuable source of income.
This is all good news for the travel insurance community and significant volumes are being generated, but the real question is how do we sustain the momentum long term after the “Covid effect” wears off?

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