CHTA Offering Caribbean Hotel COVID-19 Travel Insurance

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is partnering with travel insurance provider Trip Mate to offer policies covering travelers who book stays at participating member hotels, officials from the organizations said Tuesday.

The CHTA’s Travel Protection Plan policies from Trip Mate cover non-refundable expenses paid for the portion of a hotel booking that goes unused and additional transportation expenses if a guest needs to interrupt his or her trip due to a covered reason, including COVID-19-related illnesses.

The partnership allows CHTA member hotels to offer “a comprehensive travel protection plan for covered cancellations, interruptions, delays, baggage mishaps and medical situations that may arise during a guest’s trip,” according to a Saint Lucia Times report.

Restricted to U.S. travelers, the policies are the first to be offered to hotel guests via a major Caribbean hospitality group. Some Caribbean destinations are also offering travel insurance policies intended to encourage visitors following COVID-19 driven closures.

The policies protect guests and the Caribbean hoteliers’ revenues, which have been devastated by pandemic shutdowns, said Frank Comito, CHTA’s CEO.

“People planning travel during these unprecedented times are concerned about the unpredictable,” he said, “but their worries may be eased with coverage under our [plan],” which he described as “a way to protect your investment when it comes to travel planning.”

Comito cited a recent survey by Oracle and Skift that found consumers are “demanding flexible [hotel] cancellation and refund policies, which travel insurance helps to address.” He added, “a growing number of countries throughout the world, including several in the Caribbean, now require travel protection to enter their country.”

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