Expedia offers a helping hand

SINGAPORE, 6 May 2021: Expedia launched its Travel Companions Report Wednesday, showing Covid-19 vaccination rollouts are gaining momentum worldwide that should lead to a pick up in travel demand.

Around 50% of Singaporeans are still feeling stressed about the thought of booking international trips. And, although Singaporeans are looking forward to travelling again, 71% have been overwhelmed by planning their next trip. They have put off hitting “book” at least once and estimate that they need over nine hours to plan a trip.

Expedia recently announced new features to provide helpful tools for travellers around the world to regain confidence.

Travel advisories

The new COVID-19 Travel Advisory tool helps travellers search for travel advisories around the world, including regulations for destinations and safety and health guidelines.

Improved support

New Virtual Agent capabilities allow many travellers to view their bookings, check their refund status, ask about hotel amenities or cancel/amend parts of their trips with ease.

Extra perks

Customers will receive more Expedia Rewards points on app bookings, which can be redeemed on future trips. Plus, premium Expedia Rewards customers booking VIP Access hotels can benefit from room upgrades, spa credits and late checkout (subject to availability).

“It’s going to take time for travellers to adjust to a post-pandemic life and the new norms that this may entail – we want to make sure we are there for them, every step of the way. Providing a helping hand to travellers is our mission, arming them with all the information they need to confidently plan their next trip,” said Expedia APAC head of communications, Lavinia Rajaram.

Need to know

When it comes to getting back out there, travellers noted the need to know everything about Covid-19 related travel procedures, tests and clearances all in one place as a priority (63%).

They want access to all travel-related information, including restrictions, guidelines, and processes for each country in a single place (56%), having all final costs of their booking shown upfront rather than at checkout (54%).

They are asking for support and responses to booking related questions, including cancelling or amending trips (45%).

The majority of Singaporeans (83%) agree that, even before the pandemic, they were grateful for their holiday “helping hands” – the travel companions that guided them to create the best trip possible.

When asked which helping hands they missed most, respondents in Singapore rank their go-to travel app the highest (57%), followed by their tour guide (39%), hotel staff (38%) and their travel agency (35%).

However, with the upcoming Singapore – Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble, data shows there is strong appetite and eagerness among Singaporeans to travel with searches on Expedia.com.sg for travel to Hong Kong destinations surging by more than 800% in the first 24 hours following the announcement on 26 April 2021, compared to the past seven days.

About the Travel Companions Study

Expedia’s Travel Companions report was launched to discover attitudes to travel in 2021. OnePoll surveyed 2,000 adult respondents in Singapore, who have been on holiday as an adult. Dates of the survey: 1 to 13 April 2021.