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The Enduring Power of Partnerships

The Enduring Power of Partnerships

Through collaboration, the value of a win-win creates strong commitment towards maximizing each party’s opportunities and success. Beyond a legal contract, the best partnerships strengthen common goals through shared desires and a mission. At Trip.com Group, the philosophy is firmly believed that to go far, they must go together. This philosophy forms the cornerstone of Trip.com Group’s journey as they strive ‘To pursue the perfect trip for a better world.’
Standing strong with partners, the mantra has been ‘Customers first; Partners second; Ourselves third.’ In times of uncertainty, leaders need to lead and inspire with confidence. Partners would recall that Trip.com Group took immediate action from the onset of the pandemic through various initiatives, including supporting partners with 10 billion RMB in loans, 5 billion RMB for advance payments, and 2 billion RMB for disaster relief funds, among others.

Consumer confidence was hit hard by the crisis amid uncertainties at that point in time. Apart from support schemes, Trip.com Group initiated many campaigns to boost confidence, including the launch of the BOSS Live series of livestream sessions. They also launched the Travel On initiative to provide vital support to partners and rolled out a series of tailored travel products and services to enable and inspire travel. Through these efforts and collaborations with partners from around the world, the global travel industry gradually recovered.

Today, travel has resumed, and travelers are venturing and exploring the world again.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of partnerships, and it is imperative that industry players strengthen collaborations to meet the changing requirements of travelers as well as emerging challenges.

In the realm of technological advancements, customers and partners are at the heart of everything Trip.com Group does. They have been investing in technology and innovation to enhance user experience while promoting partners’ offerings to their targeted consumers, including high-spending tourists, eco-conscious travelers, among others.

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Take, for instance, the launch of a series of AI-enhanced curated lists, including “Trip.Trends,” “Trip.Best,” and “Trip.Deals.” These lists cater to users’ diverse needs and preferences by capturing real-time information on the latest travel trends, prices, and top-ranked hotels, flights, and attractions. For example, “Trip.Best” enables global travelers to select the best experiences a destination has to offer, including flights, hotels, and attractions, as well as lifestyle choices such as restaurants, nightlife, and shows. The list is curated by examining various travel products on Trip.com and scoring them based on an algorithm, with only the top 1% of products featured.

The launch of “Trip.Best” has increased exposure for partners, which is important given the increasing number of options customers have today. Its introduction has boosted traffic by 20% and bookings by 10% for over 1,500 hotels.

Another key initiative is the launch of TripGenie, Trip.com’s intuitive and personal AI travel assistant. Leveraging large language model technologies, TripGenie has completely re-engineered how users interact with AI in travel planning and booking, creating a conversation flow that is human-like and intuitive. It has served travelers in over 200 countries and regions, with twice the order conversion rate and a retention rate that is 30-40% higher than average users.

On the all-in-one Trip.com app, Trip.com Group builds strong communities between travelers and partners to deepen travel experiences and appetite for travel. The Trip Moments platform brings together travelers who share their experiences, recommendations, and reviews, creating a rich source of user-generated content that informs both travelers and partners. Engaged by 35% of the app users, this platform attracts and retains travelers well and influences 22% of them to book a travel-related product within a month.

Empowering partners, diversified marketing methods have been key to the success of collaborations with hotel partners in recent years. Through targeted campaigns such as the Mega Sale, Super Destination, and Weekend Super Sale, Trip.com Group has achieved 300 million RMB GMV growth for valued hotel partners.

Upcoming plans include the introduction of the Preferred Partner Programme (PPP), a multi-channel marketing plan designed with partners in mind. It goes beyond marketing; it’s about unlocking the full potential of partners’ properties. Partners on this program are expected to gain an additional 120% exposure and, on average, experience a 60% increase in production.

Distribution channels for international airfare partners have been enhanced, providing improved distribution efficiency via multiple channels, including the app and meta searches. These initiatives have contributed to the increase in bookings, with the total number of flights booked in the first half of 2023 growing 2.6 times as compared to the same period last year.

Commitment to greater collaboration, together with partners, Trip.com Group has navigated uncharted waters, adapted to new realities, and continued to thrive.

Today, Trip.com Group’s expansive global network encompasses 1.1 million accommodation services, more than 500 airlines, and over 30,000 tourism partners. The platform is available in more than 20 languages and serves hundreds of millions of customers across the globe.

Looking ahead, Trip.com Group will actively seek opportunities to advance collaboration on various areas, including technology and innovation, customer service, talent development, and sustainability, among others.

According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Travel & Tourism accounted for 10.3% of all jobs and 10.4% of global GDP before the pandemic in 2019. It is one of the most important sectors that drive national economic growth for many countries, and Trip.com Group is committed to collaborating with partners to contribute positively to the communities in various markets. Let them chart the next lap of growth for the travel and tourism industry together, create better jobs, and improve the livelihoods for people around the world.

*Opinion Piece by Jane Sun, CEO, Trip.com Group - SuperBridge Summit Dubai