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By Nikolaj Skydsgaard
COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Long-haul travel is back among Danes and even more popular than before the COVID-19 pandemic, as pent-up wanderlust increasingly drives them to venture outside Europe's borders, Scandinavia's largest insurer Tryg said on Tuesday.
"Whereas last year we travelled a little less, and when we travelled, it was mostly in Europe, there have been many more trips to Thailand or the United States, to far-away destinations," Tryg's Chief Executive Morten Huebbe told Reuters.
In the last quarter Nordic households opted for fewer but longer and more expensive trips, as opposed to more frequent but less expensive travel activity in previous years, the firm said in its earnings report published on Tuesday.
Tryg posted a second-quarter technical result - a measure of profits in the core business, excluding investments - of 1.9 billion Danish crowns ($256.15 million), 3% above estimates, and kept its guidance unchanged. Shares were up 2.3% at 0909 GMT.
Travel insurance claims tripled year-on-year in the quarter, Huebbe said, adding that data from claims showed long-haul travel seems to be even more popular now than prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.
That is also evident in higher prices on the travel insurance claims, which on average are above 2018 and 2019 levels, Tryg said, primarily driven by an increase in coverage of travel injuries and patient transport.
"Many customers tell us that they have splurged on a luxury vacation because they haven't spent money on travel during the pandemic," Tryg's director of travel claims Janus Egelund Larsen said.
"It is now the time to embark on the long-distance journeys and the larger family journeys that have been postponed due to COVID," Larsen added.
(Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Jan Harvey)