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Many people itch to book a trip to their favorite summer resort, but are unsure of Covid outbreaks or vaccinations, tests or quarantine.
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 across seven of the company̵
“Right now, many people are considering booking tours as the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine continues, but at the same time, they are inundated with conflicting information about where and how they can travel safely,” said Stacey Symonds, senior director of experience. . insight by Expedia Group, in a statement.
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“It can prove challenging to find these details from a trusted source, so we teamed up with Sherpa to seamlessly integrate a solution into our apps, websites and customer communications,” 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 travel identification provider for the travel industry, to offer the tool. Sherpa’s technology has also been used in similar joint efforts with airlines American Airlines and Caribbean Airlines, the OneWorld Aviation Alliance and guided travel company The Travel Corp.
On April 8, 2021, Expedia Group introduced COVID-19 Travel Advisor, a technically enabled tool that provides consumers with up-to-date information on travel restrictions worldwide.
The Expedia Group
“Travel is vital to our world economy and an important part of human connection,” Max Tremaine, co-founder and CEO of Sherpa, said in a statement. “Since the pandemic started, our focus has been on helping our travel partners restore consumer and travel confidence.”
A pilot phase of COVID-19 Travel Advisor, launched in late November, attracted 1.6 million users, and in March alone, Expedia Group recorded 1.8 million visits to the tool across its brands, a jump of 97% from February – meaning “many repeated uses as travelers plan various upcoming trips,” according to the company.
Online travel agencies such as Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and other Expedia corporate brands such as the online rental site Vrbo are seeing a jump in business, with consumer travel planning online on such sites having increased almost 25% compared to the pre-pandemic period according to a recent study by Expedia Group Media Solutions .
“At HomeAway, we’ve seen record-breaking holiday rental demand in the first few months of the year, and we’re encouraged to see other Expedia Group brands heading for a strong recovery,” said Jeff Hurst, president of Vrbo marketing co-lead at Expedia Group. CNBC.com. “People are eager to get safely in touch with family, friends and colleagues, but it can be difficult to navigate evolving travel constraints.
“With COVID-19 Travel Advisor, we break down this barrier so that travelers can easily access reliable information to unlock their next trip,” he added. “So far, we’ve seen success with this tool, and we continue to advance our technology to support 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.