THE Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and four local insurance companies have teamed up to provide foreign visitors with instant online coverage in a bid to rebuild traveller confidence after May's military coup (TTG Asia e-Daily, May 23, 2014).
Thailand Travel Shield offers inbound tourists a range of policies costing from 650 baht (U$20) to 12,000 baht for durations ranging from one day to a year with maximum coverage of two million baht, available for online purchase at www.tourismthailand.org/ThailandTravelShield. Said TAT governor Thawatchai Arunyik: “(Thailand Travel Shield was launched) to ensure travellers enjoy their visit to the kingdom with peace of mind, knowing that should anything go wrong, they’ll be covered.”
The state of Thailand’s tourism industry has been compounded by fears that martial law would invalidate insurance coverage. However, two of the largest global insurers – Allianz Global Assistance and ACE Travel Insurance – previously contacted by TTG Asia e-Daily said they were still providing coverage for tourists visiting the country. Travel specialists have broadly welcomed TAT's Thailand Travel Shield initiative, though they think it will be more applicable for independent travellers than those booking through a reputable agency. Stephen McEvoy, managing director of Asia World Enterprise, said: "The insurance idea is good and would boost confidence. "Asia World already offers one million baht insurance for all our clients at no charge, and two million baht for cruise clients," he said. "However, many Thai travel companies do not offer any insurance. Overall this strategy would be useful."
Thailand Travel Shield is provided by Muang Thai Insurance, Chao Phaya Insurance, Siam City Insurance and Krungthai Panich Insurance.