Online Travel Agency Giants Are on the Backfoot in Tours and Experiences

Skift | October 31, 2019

Online booking companies are stepping up their efforts to sell travelers tours, attractions, events, and activities. But the travel industry’s three largest online agency conglomerates — Booking Holdings, Expedia Group, and Trip.com Group — continue to have strikingly small market share in the sector. Some industry observers assumed the giants would swoop in. After all, they already have millions of customers booking with them monthly. That gives them a marketing edge. It costs relatively little for them to try to upsell their customers on, say, a zip-lining ride or a wine-tasting tour. But the titans of travel haven’t done that yet, and they may come to rue what appears from the outside to be either laziness or a miscalculation.

Spotlight

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman may have given the world Casablanca, but there is much more to see in Morocco than its largest city. This Atlantic coast country gives travelers the opportunity to experience life in an ancient Arabic culture, sunning on beaches or snow skiing in the mountains. Whether rambling through ancient medinas, sampling cuisine at a local souq or relaxing in the sun at a white-washed seaside town, the past is always present in this diverse and colorful country. Here’s a look at the best places to visit in Morocco:

Spotlight

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman may have given the world Casablanca, but there is much more to see in Morocco than its largest city. This Atlantic coast country gives travelers the opportunity to experience life in an ancient Arabic culture, sunning on beaches or snow skiing in the mountains. Whether rambling through ancient medinas, sampling cuisine at a local souq or relaxing in the sun at a white-washed seaside town, the past is always present in this diverse and colorful country. Here’s a look at the best places to visit in Morocco:

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Bodhi Hotel Room Configurations Dramatically Improve the Guest Experience While Saving Energy and Preventing Loss

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Tambourine is Hyatt’s New Digital Marketing Services Provider

Tambourine | June 01, 2022

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Trip.com is Here for Travellers During the Summer of Travel Turbulence

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. 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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." 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