Holland America Line | July 04, 2022
With pent-up demand and the U.S. Independence Day travel rush approaching, premium cruise line Holland America Line reported a surge in interest for Alaska cruising to the bucket list travel destination during June for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
"People are excited to travel again while reconnecting with family and friends in a meaningful way,We're seeing the pent-up demand leading to increased booking as guests realize cruising is a hassle-free way to enjoy unique destinations such as Alaska."
-Beth Bodensteiner, senior vice president and chief commercial officer for Holland America Line
Our summer travel inquiries and bookings show people are feeling safe to explore again, Alaska is one of my favorite places to visit in the summer. A preferred partner, like Holland America Line, helps us provide clients with convenient departures to and from our own back yard to this amazing place, without the added cost of airfare.Michelle Glass, vice president of travel for AAA Washington
"With the cost and recent challenges with air travel, we are seeing excitement and traction from guests within driving distance of our cruise homeports such as Seattle and Vancouver, We recently invested in local marketing near our homeports and we're already seeing that pay off."
-Kacy Cole, vice president of marketing and e-commerce for Holland America Line
Overall, Holland America Line continues to see a high level of interest in cruises that are only a short flight or drive away from guests' homes. On round-trip sailings from the United States, the cruise line visits 225 different ports in 91 different countries, serving more international destinations on cruises sailing round trip from a U.S. homeport than any other brand. The line's homeports in the United States include Seattle, San Diego, Boston, and Fort Lauderdale. In addition, Holland America Line operates more Alaska cruises from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, than any other cruise line.
TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,HOSPITALITY TRENDS
Sabre Corporation and Plug and Play | July 07, 2022
Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), a leading software and technology company powering the global travel industry, announced its partnership with Plug and Play's Travel & Hospitality program headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley.
Plug and Play is a global innovation platform that brings together the best startups with the world's largest corporations. Through this partnership, Sabre will enhance its visibility and gain early access to the global startup community.
"Over the past years, we have accelerated our focus on innovation, both internally and together with strong partners, Our collaboration with Plug and Play is another milestone on this journey and we are very excited to engage with their world-class community of forward-thinking, driven entrepreneurs to shape the future of travel."
-Sundar Narasimhan, President Sabre Labs & Product Strategy.
Plug and Play's Travel & Hospitality program launched in 2016 and has since expanded to six locations around the world. Since its inception, the Travel program has accelerated over 250 startups and worked with some of the most innovative corporations in the industry. With this partnership, Plug and Play's goal is to complement Sabre's innovation roadmap through vetted introductions to promising travel technologies that will seek to ultimately translate to a faster recovery for the industry while improving the traveler's overall journey.
"When it comes to insights regarding the entire travel ecosystem, Sabre has demonstrated their commitment to diverse and in-depth products that touch many of our travel and hospitality partners and their customers," Sabre's commitment to digital transformation is exemplified by the innovative work coming out of Sabre Labs, their support in the startup community as well as their work with forward-thinking partners both inside and outside of travel. This partnership came into fruition at a perfect inflection point for the travel industry's recovery."
-Saeed Amidi, CEO & Founder, Plug and Play.
About Plug and Play
Plug and Play is the leading innovation platform, connecting startups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we're present in 35+ locations across five continents. We offer corporate innovation programs and help our corporate partners in every stage of their innovation journey, from education to execution. We also organize startup acceleration programs and have built an in-house VC to drive innovation across multiple industries where we've invested in hundreds of successful companies including Dropbox, Guardant Health, Honey, Lending Club, N26, PayPal, and Rappi. For more information, visit https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/
About Sabre Corporation
Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveller experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre's technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information visit www.sabre.com.
TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK
Trip.com | August 10, 2022
The global travel rebound continues apace this summer, with global air traffic reaching almost 70% of pre-pandemic levels in May and international hotel occupancy rates achieving the same in April. Yet, against the backdrop of an increased appetite for travel driven by more than two years of pent-up demand, getaways over the summer months are likely to be affected by supply chain issues at airlines and airports, fully booked hotels and rising costs of accommodation and car hire.In the UK, travel chaos has dominated the headlines since springtime, with flight cancellations and long wait times, passenger caps and even a suspension on short-haul ticket sales threatening the chance of a summer holiday. In the US and Europe, the picture is equally fraught, and in Asia, recovery is fractured, with Southeast Asia and the Middle East recovering well, where China and South Korea are recovering at just 15% of pre-pandemic levels due to travel restrictions and COVID-19 outbreaks alike. As such, when customers should be getting excited about quality time with friends or family, relaxation and culture, they are now braced for uncertainty.
At Trip.com Group, we are committed to helping our customers take the perfect trip, and this summer is no different. In a world where the travel landscape is increasingly complicated, our Trip.com platform has a range of products and partnerships in place to ease traveller concerns. Combined with our leading customer service, Trip.com aims to ensure everyone has a summer holiday to remember – for all the right reasons – this year.
Trip.com Group's Pre-Travel Protection and Cost-Saving Products
Earlier this year, Trip.com expanded on its travel insurance product offering in collaboration with AXA Partners. Made available to UK customers since September last year, this insurance product was extended to travellers across Europe earlier this year and can be easily selected when booking a flight on Trip.com. This travel insurance option provides a variety of benefits including medical, cancellation and baggage cover, as well as protection against cancellation and medical costs if a customer contracts COVID-19. With travel restrictions in place in many countries across Asia and beyond, this product is still incredibly useful in terms of providing ample traveller protection and peace of mind.
In mainland China, our Ctrip platform introduced its TripTour2Day upgrade service, offering free refunds on group tour products cancelled up to two days before departure. Users simply click on the order details page to obtain a one-click refund in as little as one minute on products with the TripTour2Day label.
A week after the TripTour2Day product was launched, sales exceeded 20 million, which proves how vital these products are in terms of offering customers total peace of mind. With many travellers in China harbouring concerns about whether COVID-19 measures would interfere with their plans, this allows users an increased level of flexibility when booking their next trip.
"The TripTour2Day service upgrade shortens the threshold of a free refund from seven days or longer to just two days, giving every Ctrip user a better experience in terms of both booking and opportunity to refund. You can customise your travel needs at your own pace and join a tour with peace of mind,"
-Trip.com Group Tour Business CEO Wen Jiang.
In addition to providing protection-based products, Trip.com is also helping guests to get the best value on their next getaway. As the costs of travel rapidly increase, customers are frequently looking for the best deals in order to maximise the return on their investment. By partnering with Hopper Price Freeze on our European and US sites, Trip.com is offering customers added protection against travel price volatility. For a small upfront fee, Trip.com users can freeze a flight price for up to 14 days, giving them the chance to confirm plans with their travel companions before booking without having to worry about an unnecessary price rise. Price Freeze ensures that customers never lose out, because if a Trip.com user freezes a flight and the prices go up, the difference is covered up to a set amount. If the price goes down, the user pays that lower price.
Yudong Tan, CEO of the Flight Business Group, Trip.com Group commented, At Trip.com Group we are constantly seeking out ways to bring benefits to travellers. With this new Price Freeze feature, powered by Hopper, we are giving our customers more ways to save money when they book flights.
Dedicated Customer Service
Since the beginning of 2020, Trip.com's Customer Service team has been put through its paces, handling complex requests to support our users during some of the most testing times - and we continue to develop tech-focused Customer Service solutions today.
Our intelligent storage auto-expansion technology has been upgraded to allow our systems to manage call levels more than 10 times higher than our average, and we developed an AI-centric mechanism to recognise and prioritise the most urgent customer cases, directing these calls to a staff member as quickly as possible. While speaking with a Customer Service agent, our assistant tool helps agents by automatically labelling and categorising requests in real time, saving customers time and energy while solving problems quicker than ever before.
Our chatbot service also makes use of AI technology to automatically identify trending information in real time based on the most up to date COVID-19 policies and frequently asked questions, updating the FAQs on a daily basis and allowing customers to self-solve over 70% problems without having to hold for a Customer Service agent. The chatbot can also route requests directly to your hotel or airline, helping customers do everything from requesting a confirmation email to rescheduling a flight in the event of extreme weather conditions.
In addition, Trip.com also launched its Customer Service Pledge in November 2021, committing to six key pillars including 24/7 support and free in-app calls. Grace Ding, Head of Trip.com's Global Customer Support Centre commented We are proud to see one of our companies make a pledge towards maintaining an incredible level of service to ensure people can continue to travel stress-free.
With an average customer satisfaction rate of 90% in 2021, Trip.com is ready to support customers quickly and efficiently with any issues they face while travelling this summer.
Delayed Baggage Protection
As global lost luggage becomes a particularly problematic issue, Trip.com's Blue Ribbon Bags delayed baggage protection service also helps to remove the stress from summer travel. With this initiative, Trip.com users will be able to safeguard their checked luggage against any delays during transit.
Commenting on the new service, Lyrics Zhao, Director of Product and Business Development in the Flights Business at Trip.com said, "Trip.com strives to make travel worry-free and relaxing for all. We want the booking experience to be the beginning of a relaxing trip and to offer value added services to the passenger."
"Our service provides air travellers with confidence that if their checked-in baggage does not arrive at the destination airport, we will coordinate and expedite the swift return. Our clients should be able to enjoy their holiday or focus on their work trip while we locate and expedite the baggage,"
-CD Lazear, Senior Vice President of Blue Ribbon Bags.
Whatever this summer throws at you, Trip.com will be by your side to offer solutions. At every stage throughout your travel journey, from pre-booking to when you land in your chosen destination, Trip.com's supportive staff and customer-focused products are available to support you every step of the way and make sure your next trip offers all the relaxation, fun and good times you've been craving.