Digital platforms that facilitate travel planning have now partnered with medical groups to expedite the quick and easy processing of Covid-19 tests and certification. These partnerships come in the midst of Singapore’s recent announcements of more Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) countries joining the scheme.
Travellers who book with Trip.com are now able to immediately schedule an appointment for their Covid-19 PCR pre-departure test. This comes after Trip.com signed an agreement with Raffles Medical Group (RMG) to provide pre-departure swab and serology services such as PCR and IGM tests.
Ru Yi, General Manager of Trip.com Travel Singapore Pte Ltd anticipates a "strong demand" for flights in the coming months.
Ru Yi, General Manager of Trip.com Travel Singapore Pte Ltd, said, “Trip.com has seen an increase in enquiries and bookings since the launch of the first VTL last month. With the expansion of the VTL scheme, coupled with more countries finalising preparations to reopen their borders to fully vaccinated tourists, we anticipate a strong demand for flight bookings in the coming months.
“Through this collaboration, Trip.com users will enjoy the seamless convenience of booking a bundled deal that includes flight tickets, accommodation and the required outbound pre-departure tests — with the click of a mouse, and within minutes.”
Travellers may take their pre-departure tests at any of the 36 clinics in the Raffles Medical clinic network, and they may book their appointment through Trip.com, Raffles Connect or the Raffles Website.
According to Director of Commercial for RMG Dr Morrison Loh, the group’s medical services extends to air-border screening and pre-event testing to include vaccination centres; on site Covid testing services; pre-departure swabbing; traveller arrival testing; and tests for those exposed to new Covid-19 clusters as they emerge.
Smoove Xperience's AI-powered digital companion mobile app features travel planning tools for pre-departure tests.
Another partnership to ensure a seamless take-off experience is traveltech company Smoove Xperience's AI-powered digital companion mobile app, now featuring travel planning tools for pre-departure tests.
These tools include appointment booking, payment, test results and certification, as well as Covid-19 information on multiple destinations so travellers book the right pre-departure tests.
Smoove Xperience has partnered Fullerton Health in implementing these services, including working with a trusted external verification service to ensure that test certifications delivered within the app won’t require an additional notarisation step. Currently, this additional step might be required by other clinics.
Added Greg Duffell, Group CEO of Smoove Xperience, “We want to make travel under current circumstances a whole lot safer and more predictable. That is why we plan on aggregating as much relevant and updated destination information as possible and present this to the traveller as they plan and book destinations, including all the insurance and healthcare requirements, hence the Fullerton relationship.”
As global economies open up, travel apps play a key role in its recovery. According to recent GlobalData updates, Covid-19 has sped up the race for the travel industry to deploy contactless processes, digital health passes and safely store customer data.
In order to capture the attention of travellers who seek “a one-stop solution with omni-channel connectivity that covers everything from simplifying travel requirements to transactions”, development in these areas should be the key priority.
The green light for travel also requires industry players to be prepared to meet demand and to provide stress-free travel experiences — and this includes clearing up travel's confusing restrictions and protocols — which travellers in a recent Amadeus survey say are the major issues holding back consumer's explosion in demand.