The year 2017 was the 110th business year for Europäische Reiseversicherung AG, Vienna. The vision of our founder, Max von Engel – to improve the lives of travellers – still inspires and motivates our company today, and is what made 2017 a successful year for us.
After two difficult years, 2017 saw a return to success for the tourist industry, with a pleasing increase in the number of travellers from Austria to almost all the major holiday destinations.
Outgoing tourism in particular improved significantly in 2017, and although problems with one national carrier hampered growth slightly, the main holiday travel season otherwise ran perfectly. Key tourist destinations such as Greece, Spain, Italy and Croatia showed impressive growth. Even Egypt returned to growth once again. Towards the end of the year, the industry was affected somewhat by difficult weather conditions.
Incoming tourism was similarly positive with an increase in arrivals and overnight stays. This sector achieved impressive growth in the first half of the year and continued strongly for the rest of the year. The Austrian tourist industry, and consequently the hotel sector, celebrated excellent growth by the end of the year, and the 2017/2018 winter season made an above-average start.
The 2017 business travel market showed some recovery in parallel with the improved economic situation in Europe, with more promising results than in 2016.
Improved market conditions in the major outgoing tourism sector, combined with strong incoming tourism, enabled Europäische Reiseversicherung to achieve increased premium totals. It is also encouraging to see the other strategically important business sectors reporting positive development. We were able to develop and extend some of our major partnerships and also to secure some new partnerships.
Our business operations in South Tyrol and Slovenia continued successfully, achieving similarly positive growth to that of Austria. We maintained a strong presence in the Czech Republic and Hungary through our investments in the leading travel insurance companies in each of these countries, which both showed significant growth. Our involvement in the European Travel Insurance Group (ETIG) proved very positive once again.
Customer satisfaction surveys produced first-class results once again from both customers and sales partners. This confirms the effectiveness of our particular focus on the needs of our customers and agents. Top quality service and empathy from our employees, combined with efficient administration, form the core of our activities, and we work constantly to respond to the priorities of our customers. 2017 saw the launch of the MEINE URLAUBERIA App, offering services for travellers which go far beyond the normal expectations of a travel insurance provider, with support for their health and safety while travelling, and a function which helps to locate travellers in an emergency. For companies the app also helps to simplify the accounting for business travel expenses. Our subsidiaries TTC Training Center and Care Consult offer further valuable services to complete the packages we offer to customers and sales partners.
Continuity in the market and a strong focus on employee training and expertise enabled us to maintain our position as the leading Austrian travel insurance provider. Our customers enjoy optimum protection when travelling and in this way we are making a valuable contribution to the general well-being of our society.
We are very grateful for the outstanding collaboration of our sales and service partners, which made it possible for us to provide increased security for travellers. Particular thanks are due to our sister company Europ Assistance, whose network and excellent team provide rapid and efficient emergency support for our customers all over the world.
A very special thank you also goes to our wonderful employees for their exceptional work in the service of our customers and sales partners. With this team we are confident of continuing success for our company and constant improvements in the lives of travellers.
Vienna, 27 February 2018
Following the pleasingly positive results of the year 2017 and growing demand in the travel industry, the company expects this trend to continue in the year 2018, with further steady increases – providing of course that we are spared further crises and terrorist threats. Continued macro-economic recovery is expected to boost demand in the holiday industry, and this combined with increased risk awareness is likely to produce more insurance bookings. As a result of these developments we anticipate a further increase in premiums from our direct business. Indirect business will decline a little due to the discontinued Slovakian takeover, but despite this we still anticipate single-digit growth.
In 2018 as ever the needs of our customers and sales partners will be our priority and the focus of our activities. The emphasis will be on innovation and further development of our products and services, further optimisation of our partnerships and even more efficient dealings with our customers. Our aim is to be seen as market leaders, whenever customers look for and book their holidays.
The year 2018 will present a number of regulatory challenges. We will meet these new demands promptly in the best interests of our customers and partners. We will also continue to refine our internal work processes and optimise our operational procedures. Fundamental to all of this is the exceptional commitment of our employees and the long-standing and excellent relationships we enjoy with our business partners and service providers.
We are optimistic about the year 2018 and confident that we will once again be able to strengthen our position as the leading quality travel insurance provider and to produce sustainably robust results. We expect a slight increase in our technical results compared to 2017, with a combined ratio once again well under 95%. Overall we anticipate ongoing sound results once again in 2018.
Vienna, 27 February 2018
The Management Board
Wolfgang Lackner, Chairman, m.p.
Andreas Sturmlechner, m.p.
All journeys and holidays on record - even offline without data roaming when abroad!
Direct call to operations centre with automatically generated emergency text message with GPS data.
Creditcard and mobile phone lock instructions, travel warning, checklists and more.
Business travellers - travel expenses via app, documents always available