Expedia Group Debuts Online Covid Info Search for 7 Travel Brands
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Many people are desperate to book a trip to their favorite summer vacation spot, but aren’t sure whether there are Covid outbreaks or any vaccination, testing, or quarantine requirements.
Online travel purchasing company Expedia Group on Thursday launched COVID-19 Travel Advisor, an online tool that provides information on current travel restrictions to prospective and existing customers across seven of the company’s brands.
“Right now, many people are considering booking travel while the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine continues. At the same time, they are inundated with conflicting information about where and how to travel safely,” said Stacey Symonds, senior director of Experience, Insights at Expedia Group, in a statement.
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“Getting these details from one reliable source can be difficult, so we partnered with Sherpa to create a solution that seamlessly integrates with our apps, websites and customer communications,” she added. “Our goal is to reduce friction for travelers at a time when they need additional assistance and empower them to make responsible decisions.”
Expedia Group is partnering with Sherpa, a global travel identification requirements provider for the travel industry, to offer the tool. Sherpa’s technology was also developed in similar collaborative efforts with air carriers American Airlines and Caribbean Airlines, the OneWorld Airline Alliance, and run vacation company The Travel Corp. used.
Expedia Group unveiled the COVID-19 Travel Advisor on April 8, 2021, a technology-based tool that enables consumers to get updated information on travel restrictions around the world.
“Travel is critical to our global economy and an important part of the human connection,” said Max Tremaine, co-founder and CEO of Sherpa, in a statement. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have continued to focus on helping our travel partners restore consumer confidence and confidence to travel.”
A pilot phase of COVID-19 Travel Advisor that began in late November attracted 1.6 million users. In March alone, Expedia Group had 1.8 million visits to the tool across its brands, up 97% from February – meaning “many travelers are repeatedly used as travelers planning various upcoming trips,” according to the company.
Online travel agencies such as Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and other Expedia group brands such as the online vacation rental website Vrbo are seeing a surge in business, with online travel planning for consumers in such locations increasing nearly 25% compared to pre-pandemic times is based on a recent study by Expedia Group Media Solutions.
“At Vrbo, we saw record-breaking vacation rental demand in the first few months of the year and we are encouraged to see other Expedia Group brands on their way to strong recovery,” said Jeff Hurst, President of Vrbo and According to CNBC. com he is Marketing Co-Lead at Expedia Group. “People strive to reconnect with family, friends and colleagues safely, but navigating evolving travel restrictions can prove difficult.
“With the COVID-19 Travel Advisor, we are overcoming this barrier so that travelers can easily access reliable information to unlock their next trip,” he added. “So far we have had success with this tool and we are evolving our technology to meet the needs of travelers, hosts and industry partners.”
The brands that include Expedia Group’s new COVID-19 Travel Advisor are Ebookers, Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Travelocity, Vrbo, and Wotif.