Travel TrendsThe industry-wide initiative seeks to reinvigorate travel, pushing a range of new safety standards, flexibility guarantees and promotions

Global partners join Trip.com to help the world ‘Travel On’

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Over 70 representatives from more than 200 industry partners joined the launch of this industry-wide initiative, promising to elevate consumer confidence with cancellation flexibility, discounted products, and live updates of quarantine zones in a dedicated app.
Over 70 representatives from more than 200 industry partners joined the launch of this industry-wide initiative, promising to elevate consumer confidence with cancellation flexibility, discounted products, and live updates of quarantine zones in a dedicated app.

As more countries take cautious steps toward reopening, Chinese OTA giant Trip.com has launched a travel revival campaign backed by hundreds of industry partners worldwide, collaborative research and consumer incentives to kick-start the recovery process for the global tourism sector.

In a sign of how travel destinations worldwide are keen to resume business with the Chinese market, over 70 representatives hailing from more than 200 travel organisations and industry bodies pre-recorded messages to express their support for Trip.com's latest campaign.

These included top management representatives from hospitality chains, airlines, trade agencies, tourism boards and state governors, many of whom took the opportunity during the webinar to highlight the slow but certain advances they are adopting to reopen the travel sector in their respective country.

Here are some of the key highlights.

Safe travel protocols in the new norm

Developed with international health authorities, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) President and CEO Gloria Guevara unveiled the new health and safety measures for airports, airlines, tour operators, the business events industry, hospitality and retail sectors.

These will “enable the industry to standardise practices across the travel experience and give consumers the confidence”, while giving travellers the freedom and assurance to travel safely, she said during the Monday webinar.

Under WTTC's new safe travel guidelines, tour operators, for instance, will have to:

• Enhance sanitation, disinfection, and deep-cleaning practices for coaches and other vehicles
• Focused cleaning on high-frequency touch points including handrails, door handles, tables, onboard toilets, air-conditioning filters, overhead lockers and headsets
• Pre-allocated seating plans with no rotations
• Limit physical contact and queuing where possible
• Explore staggered timings for access to venues, hotels and restaurants among others
• Health, sanitation, disinfection and food-safety protocols at partner restaurants
• Establish with partners and suppliers including shops, showrooms, tasting venues, museums, show theatres, concert halls, factories and farms that they follow protocols

Free cancellations a key motivator

In collaboration with Trip.com, a Travel Trends report by Google revealed data such as the top searches, 30% who are considering trips in the next three months, and top 20 short-haul getaway destinations.

As raised in numerous webinars and industry discussions, consumer uncertainty has made free cancellations the key motivator when it comes to booking future trips, with 27% also seeking presale offers with flexible timings, shared Wilson Wu, head of industry, online travel agency, Google China.

Google’s full report will be out in Q3, 2020.

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Travel On with Trip.com

Based on the above partner insights, Trip.com’s Travel On initiative will reinvigorate travel by providing a range of new safety standards, flexibility guarantees and promotions.

With the Travel On Sale promotion, travellers can expect discounts of up to 60% on flexible advance at over 30,000 hotels worldwide, while flexible booking allows fees for changes to be waived. Trip.com's live streaming platform, which have netted over US$70 million in sales, will see a further 10 more events planned in the coming week.

In addition, the Trip.com app will feature useful new features such as a Green Map, which tracks if a traveller has moved into an area with or without quarantine, no change fees with airlines, and collaborations with attractions so users can book tourism tickets ahead of time.

As well, Trip.com will also roll out a US$140 million fund to assist partners worldwide to revitalise their businesses.

"Travel is such an important force for good. It's what brings us together, breaks down barriers between us, and what the world needs most right now is the freedom to travel on safely," said Trip.com Group CEO Jane Sun.

"With the measures for safety and flexibility announced today, and these amazing deals and exciting new products on offer, that moment is now. There's never been a better time to start planning that next trip, and to travel on."

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