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.
Posadas | July 15, 2022
Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), a leading provider of software and technology powering the global travel industry, announced a new distribution agreement with Posadas, Mexico's leading hotel operator, which will help accelerate its growth plans and drive higher revenue through Sabre's SynXis Central Reservations (CR) platform.
The agreement will allow the hotel operator to put its inventory in front of hundreds of thousands of travel agents globally across all major global distribution systems (GDS) through Sabre Hospitality's innovative SynXis CR. This platform offers specific functionalities and capabilities that help drive higher revenue and streamline internal processes, improving efficiency.
"Sabre is an important travel technology company in the world and with leadership in Mexico that offers a comprehensive distribution platform for the different sales channels including the Global Distribution Systems (GDS), Our partnership with Sabre includes replacing our current GDS connectivity technology with SynXis."
-José Jaime Lorenzo, director of Revenue Management, Technology and Distribution, Posadas.
Sabre also continues to support Posadas' GDS marketing, helping to position its hotels under the Live Aqua, Grand Fiesta Americana, Curamoria Collection, Fiesta Americana, The Explorean, IOH, Fiesta Inn, Gamma and one brands through Sabre's Sponsored Property and Promospot campaigns.
"We are delighted to support Posadas' distribution strategy with the implementation of SynXis CR. To successfully compete and drive incremental revenue opportunities, it is essential that hoteliers equip themselves with the right technology tools to put their offerings in front of global markets, We are excited to enable Posadas to capture and create future travel demand in a key market like Mexico and beyond."
-Frank Trampert, senior vice president and global general manager, Community Sales, Sabre Hospitality.
Available in eight languages, SynXis CR enables a single system of record that can help implement hoteliers' distribution strategy, reaching the industry's broadest distribution points and supporting their business goals. Hotel owners and managers can enter and maintain their own property information, including rates, photos, inventory and policies, as well as view booking data and reports through the SynXis online portal, where they can access various marketing tools.
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 offers sales, distribution and fulfillment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, generate revenue and deliver personalized experiences to travelers. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel providers with buyers around the world. Sabre's technology platform manages more than $260 billion in global travel expenses annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.sabre.com.
Posadas is the leading hotel operator in Mexico that owns, leases and manages 185 hotels and 28,690 rooms, with a presence in the most important and visited beach and city destinations in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Its hotels located in city destinations represent 87% of the total rooms it has and in beach destinations 13%. Posadas operates the Live Aqua Beach Resort, Live Aqua Urban Resort, Live Aqua Boutique Resort, Grand Fiesta Americana, Curamoria Collection, Fiesta Americana, The Explorean, IOH, Fiesta Inn, Gamma and one brands, as well as the Live Aqua Residence Club and Fiesta Americana Vacation Club vacation programs. Posadas has been listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV) since 1992. For more information, visit: www.posadas.com
Optii Solutions | June 13, 2022
On June 8, Optii Solutions, a market leader in hotel operations software, announced the onboarding of two hotels in the Pebblebrook Hotel Trust; Hotel Chamberlain West Hollywood and Hotel Ziggy, in their hotel operations solution. Optii will help them maximize their housekeeping efficiencies and comply with the new West Hollywood Ordinance that governs workers’ rights.
Optii has a contract with another Pebblebrook group hotel- Montrose West Hollywood. It has successfully helped Montrose streamline its operations with limited staff and adapt to the Ordinance. Springboard Hospitality manages all the three hotels that are members of the Curator Hotels & Resorts Collection.
The West Hollywood Ordinance came into force on January 1 and imposed limits on square footage cleaned and the number of checkouts completed by each room attendant during an eight-hour workday. If these limits exceed, the hoteliers must pay their staff twice their pay for every hour worked. This doubles housekeeping costs for hotels that do not comply with these restrictions.
Optii’s housekeeping platform uses AI to allocate rooms to room attendants based on square footage efficiently. It also set limits for each attendant so that no team member exceeds the Ordinance guidelines. Optii’s platform also offers reporting on both the square footage and number of rooms that an attendant cleans to ensure compliance. A breakdown of departure cleans for each workday, as well as archived boards and data for customer life, is also provided.
“Housekeeping departments represent the largest cost for hoteliers and failure to comply with the West Hollywood Ordinance can mean that these costs skyrocket. We are pleased to be expanding our relationship with Pebblebrook Hotel Trust and helping this group of hotels comply simply and easily.”
-Katherine Grass, CEO, Optii Solutions
Andrew Maffei, Area General Manager, Chamberlain or Hotel Ziggy, said: Our staff are our most important asset and making best use of their time is one of our top priorities. We are excited to be implementing Optii’s technology to ensure our housekeeping team is working efficiently and that we are always fully compliant with the new Ordinance requirements.