Travel insurer Cover-More Group has confirmed an “obvious slowdown in the Australian leisure sector over the past two months” but said it is still on track down to deliver on its forecast pre-tax profit of AUD50 million.

Last week, Flight Centre said growth rates for Australian outbound leisure travel have slowed, while a number of local retailers issued profit downgrades due to more cautious consumer spending following a federal budget few people are happy with and many are confused about.

Cover-More CEO Peter Edwards said the company was actively diversifying its business base, announcing it has signed a distribution agreement with Chinese online travel agent Qunar, mirroring the successful partnership strategy it has adopted in its home market of Australia.

He said Cover-More is staffing up in Asia with a focus on China, India and Malaysia. Current Australia COO, George Saunders, has been appointed to the newly-created role of CEO Asia, while there have been a number of other appointments.

“Asian expansion is a pivotal growth strategy for Cover-More,” Mr Edwards said.

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