The earthquake in Nepal this April was devastating, and sad stories continue to surface. For an American couple traveling in Nepal, their story has a happy ending, but not without adversity. They did not have travel insurance for their trip. During the five days they were stranded, they watched multiple helicopters evacuate people with travel insurance, while the couple waited until the U.S. Special Forces arrived for them. Chris Pleasance wrote about the couple’s experience for DailyMail.com.
“‘There were a lot of tears and frustration during the hours after they left. I couldn’t believe they would just leave us there.’
Over the next two days, another four helicopters landed, this time taking groups of Israeli travelers away. It was then that Miss Hoffman learned they were being sent by private companies.
She added: ‘Eventually one pilot agreed to take the man with the broken arm, but the rest of us were just left behind.’
It was only after five days that a group of U.S. Special Forces, who had been in Nepal for high altitude training, were able to get to the group and take Miss Hoffman and her boyfriend away.”
It is difficult to imagine what this couple experienced, but knowing they arrived home safely is a comforting thought. Their story reminds all travelers how important having travel insurance can be. There is value in being able to contact a 24/7 emergency assistance number from anywhere in the world and knowing your evacuation is being coordinated. It is a blessing that the U.S. Special Forces were available in Nepal, but world travelers should not expect that to always be the case.
Upcoming Trips to Nepal
The economy of Nepal is heavily dependent on tourism. In the wake of this natural disaster, tourism in Nepal is more important than ever. For those with upcoming trips to Nepal, consider keeping your plans, but adjusting your expectations. The Asian nation could greatly benefit from a resurgent tourism industry over the next months.
Trip Mate is a proud sponsor of Tourism Cares, a non-profit organization dedicated to philanthropy through travel. The Tourism Cares Nepal Recovery Fund was established to assist in the long term economic recovery of Nepal. The first year of recovery will be critical for their tourism industry.
Some travelers will prefer to cancel their trip to Nepal. The standard Trip Cancellation benefit offers some coverage for natural disasters, such as the accommodations made uninhabitable. However, someone concerned their vacation wouldn’t be as enjoyable now would need a policy with Cancel For Any Reason coverage. This allows a traveler to choose whether to cancel the trip without having to explain the reason why.
Please contact MH Ross with any questions. Agents are available 24/7 and are happy to help.