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Health cover for tourists to Mexico City

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  • Health cover for tourists to Mexico City

    Health cover for tourists to Mexico City
    Written by Tom Marshall
    Saturday, 13 June 2009
    MEXICO CITY - Mexico City authorities are to offer free medical insurance to all foreigners visiting the capital.

    The innovative scheme will be in place by July 11 and the city government hopes the service will boost tourism following a dramatic dip in the number of visitors provoked by the swine flu outbreak.

    The insurance cover will be triggered as soon as tourists register in hotels. It will give foreigners full access to medical attention at private hospitals.

    The insurance is provided by the Ace Group and will not cover illnesses contracted before arrival nor long-term conditions.

    To woo Mexicans back to the capital, the Mexico City government is launching a bankcard to give domestic travelers interest-free loans for purchases made in the capital. These can be paid off in installments directly from their salaries.

    A coupon book offering a whole range of special offers ? from free nights in hotels to discounts in shops and restaurants ? is also being worked on.

    Although authorities lifted emergency measures due to the swine flu outbreak on May 21, hotel occupancy is still 50 percent less than in a normal year, according to the city?s tourism department. During the shutdown, when all non-essential businesses were closed, hotel occupancy hit a record low of nine percent.