Trip.com: Travel hits supply chain issues

SINGAPORE, 15 August 2022: The global travel rebound continues at pace 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, according to Trip.com.

But despite an increased appetite for travel driven by more than two years of pent-up demand, the global online travel agency warns holiday destinations are likely to be affected by supply chain issues at airlines and airports, fully booked hotels and the rising accommodation costs and car hire through to the start of autumn.

Trip.com’s latest observations point to a “fractured recovery” in Asia, with Southeast Asia and the Middle East leading with positive trends while China and South Korea are recovering at just 15% of pre-pandemic levels caused by travel restrictions and Covid-19 outbreaks. As such, when customers should be excited about quality time with friends or family, relaxation and culture, they are now braced for uncertainty.

Earlier this year, Trip.com expanded 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.

The travel insurance option provides medical, cancellation and baggage cover and protection against cancellation and medical costs if a customer contracts Covid-19.

In mainland China, the Ctrip platform introduced its TripTour2Day upgrade service, offering free refunds on group tour products cancelled up to two days before departure. Users 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, indicating travellers believe these products are vital for peace of mind. Many travellers in China harbour concerns about whether Covid-19 measures would interfere with their plans.

“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,” commented Trip.com Group Tour Business CEO Wen Jiang.

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, allowing them to confirm plans with their travel companions before booking without worrying 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: “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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