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.
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."