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MAPFRE Asistencia launches the Travel Insurance Observatory

Gastrointestinal infections are the most common travel-related health problems.

MAPFRE Asistencia has published Travel Insurance Observatory (TIO), a survey on health problems suffered by tourists based on the data obtained from its travel insurance policies sold in the United Kingdom. According to the report, the most common diagnoses related to the travel destinations monitored during the survey period are gastrointestinal infections (51% of all cases).

The report was presented at the 20th General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) held in Zambia, Zimbabwe last August. MAPFRE, represented by its MAPFRE Asistencia division, participated in the event as an affiliate member of the organization.

To compile the report, MAPFRE Asistencia and its UK subsidiary InsureandGo analyzed the claims lodged in the destination countries visited by both tourists and business travelers, taking into account the frequency of health problems cited in the claims, the most common medical diagnoses in these cases, and the specific situation of each destination country.

Tourists’ health prior to travel (cancelations due to health risks), during their stay in the destination country (where travelers obtain direct assistance from call centers and health service providers associated with MAPFRE Asistencia as well as benefiting from coverage for their portable devices and gadgets in the event of accidental damage), and after the trip (reimbursement of medical costs incurred by policy holders) were the other aspects that were taken into account.

The report also shows that 21% of all medical claims occur in North Africa, even though figures from Office for National Statistics show that overnight stays by residents of the UK only account for 3% of the total.

The analysis was conducted by region and with a special focus on the 20 countries (of the 130 surveyed) with the highest incidence of medical cases related to those destinations.

Participating in the 20th General Assembly of the UNWTO as an affiliate member of the organization provided MAPFRE Asistenciawith an opportunity to network with tourist institutions and authorities and has helped to position the company as a leading reference in the world tourism industry. Moreover, the continuity of the TIO survey will allow the division with to act as a mediator for travel insurance affairs with the UNWTO and all other channels and audiences that follow the information released by the organization.

The 20th UNWTO General Assembly was attended by tourist authorities from over 190 countries and included ministers and secretaries-general as well as the entire official structure of the United Nations World Tourism Organization and other affiliated companies.

As MAPFRE Asistencia Deputy Director General, Gregorio R. Santos, pointed out, “We have a specific goal at MAPFRE regarding our participation in the WTO, which is to help ensure that tourists have a positive experience at their destination.”

Photo caption: Together with Gregorio R. Santos, Deputy General Commercial Manager, Augusto Huescar, CEO of our company, and Marcio Favilla, Executive Director of the World Tourism Organization.

Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (, and Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.