British tourists must buy travel insurance that is “fit for purpose” to avoid having to launch crowdfunding appeals through the media.

Speaking at World Travel Market, Abta’s senior destinations manager Angela Hills told delegates that tourists now wanted authentic experiences by leaving the resorts in which they were staying.

However, she said around 22% of Britons were still travelling without comprehensive travel insurance.

“One of the core messages today is the importance of travel insurance,” she said, adding: “Customers need to have the right travel insurance – if they are going to participate in water sports activities, for example, they need to make sure they have insurance which covers that sport.

“We have all seen media coverage where sadly someone has not got insurance and then they have to launch a crowd funding appeal through a family member in the media. That is a core message from Abta and the Foreign Office.

“Buy travel insurance that is fit for purpose. Do not buy travel insurance that is the cheapest available and if you buy insurance that lasts a year, that is fabulous, but make sure it covers your next adventure before travelling.”

Hills also said it was important that travel agents gave customers the correct information and did not leave them to read false media reports.

Citing the example of Jamaica, which declared a state of emergency this year after 49 gang-related murders, Hills said headlines warning Britons to stay in resorts were not “factually correct”.

“Tourists were still able to go out and about and have an amazing time,” Hills said. “Because of the state of emergency, the roads were quieter. It is so important to be in touch with the resorts on the ground and get the right information.”

The Travel Weekly team is reporting extensively from this year’s World Travel Market, stay up to date on our live blog and event microsite