21 Jun 2012

Niue ponders mandatory insurance for visitors

2:12 pm on 21 June 2012

Niue's Premier, Toke Talagi, says the government is looking at making travel insurance compulsory for all tourists travelling to Niue after funding for emergency medical evacuations has been cut.

The health department says at least one medivac occurs a year, at a cost of about 95,000 US dollars per flight.

Mr Talagi says the government is assuring all residents that it has the resources to cover any medivacs.

However, he says to ensure Niue's limited resources are not burdened further, insurance may become compulsory for all tourists.

"I believe that out of good will most of these tourists will believe that we shouldn't be burdened with the responsibility of medivaccing them at a huge cost. Therefore a 30 dollar insurance policy taken out prior to their travel is good insurance for themselves and also to assist Niue."

Toke Talagi says he will need to get advice from the Tourism Authority on the matter.