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Many people are eager to book a trip to their favorite summer getaway spot, but aren’t sure about Covid outbreaks or the vaccination, testing or quarantine requirements.
Online travel company Expedia Group on Thursday launched COVID-19 Travel Advisor, an online tool that provides information on current travel restrictions to potential and existing customers of seven of the company’s brands.
“Right now, many people are considering booking trips as the deployment of the Covid-19 vaccine continues, but at the same time, they are inundated with conflicting information on where and how to travel safely,” a said Stacey Symonds, Senior Experience Director. insights from Expedia Group, in a statement.
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“It can be difficult to find these details from a reliable source, which is why we have partnered with Sherpa to seamlessly integrate a solution into our applications, websites and customer communications,” a she added. “Our goal is to reduce friction for travelers at a time when they need extra support and empower them to make responsible decisions.”
Expedia Group is partnering with Sherpa, a global provider of travel identification requirements for the travel industry, to deliver the tool. Sherpa’s technology has also been deployed in similar joint efforts with airlines American Airlines and Caribbean Airlines, the OneWorld airline alliance, and guided vacation company The Travel Corp.
On April 8, 2021, Expedia Group introduced the COVID-19 Travel Advisor, a technology tool that provides consumers with current details on travel restrictions around the world.
“Travel is essential to our global economy and is an important part of human relations,” said Max Tremaine, co-founder and CEO of Sherpa, in a statement. “Since the start of the pandemic, our goal has been to help our travel partners restore consumer confidence and confidence in travel.”
A pilot phase of COVID-19 Travel Advisor that began in late November has attracted 1.6 million users and, in March alone, Expedia Group recorded 1.8 million visits of the tool across all of its brands, That’s a 97% jump from February – meaning “many repeat uses as travelers.” plan various upcoming trips, ”according to the company.
Online travel agencies such as Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and other Expedia Group brands such as online vacation home rental site Vrbo see increased activity, with online consumer travel planning on these sites up by nearly 25% compared to the pre-pandemic period, according to a recent study by Expedia Group Media Solutions.
“At Vrbo, we experienced record demand for vacation rentals in the first few months of the year, and we are encouraged to see the other Expedia Group brands on track for a strong recovery,” Jeff Hurst, president of Vrbo and co-head of marketing at Expedia Group, told TBEN.com. “People are eager to safely reconnect with family, friends and colleagues, but it can be difficult to navigate the ever-changing travel restrictions.
“With the COVID-19 Travel Advisor, we are removing this barrier, so travelers can easily access reliable information to unlock their next trip,” he added. “So far we have seen success with this tool and continue to advance our technology to meet the needs of travelers, hosts and industry partners.
Brands incorporating Expedia Group’s new COVID-19 travel advisor are Ebookers, Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Travelocity, Vrbo and Wotif.