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Marketing Featured APAC

Booking.com adds Klook to its attraction partner roster

Singapore – Digital travel agency Booking.com has announced a long-term strategic partnership with Klook, a travel and leisure e-commerce platform, to enable travellers to access Klook attractions directly on Booking.com.

The new global partnership will connect travellers on the go with seamless access to an even greater range of attractions and things to do, all instantly bookable on Booking.com. 

Booking.com said that Klook is the latest attractions partner to integrate with the platform. Klook experiences are now live in over 175 cities, across over 30 markets on Booking.com, and the majority of these are available in Asia and Oceania.

Matthias Schmid, SVP for the trips division at Booking.com, shared that this year was an important year for travel, as borders are opening up, restrictions are easing, and travellers are once again travelling – and showing more enthusiasm and vigour than ever before.

“What a time to be partnering with Klook, a well-known, highly respected household name for travel and experiences, particularly in the Asia Pacific, where this new partnership will significantly increase our coverage and offering within the region. We’re very excited about this collaboration and all the new attractions and experiences we can now provide,” said Schmid.

Meanwhile, Wilfred Fan, chief commercial officer at Klook, commented that they are delighted to partner with Booking.com, connecting their user base to the amazing and unique experiences that the Asia Pacific region has to offer. 

“Cross-border travel in the Asia Pacific is just taking off, and this partnership will enable our merchants to reach an even larger customer demographic globally and accelerate travel recovery in the region,” said Fan.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Digital travel agency Booking.com leads travel brand rankings in Singapore: report

Singapore – Online travel agency Booking.com was revealed as the best-perceived travel brand amongst responsible travellers in Singapore with 21.3 scores, according to market research company YouGov.

The report also found that the fellow travel booking platforms Agoda with 18.7 scores, Expedia with 17.6 scores, and Klook with 17.6 scores were closely behind the top spot.

Meanwhile, hospitality companies Shangri-La and Marriott ranked fifth and sixth, with consideration scores of 17.0 and 15.3 respectively. This was followed by online travel agency Trip.com with 14.2 scores, accommodation booking platform Hotels.com with 14.0 scores, and Airbnb with 13.5 scores. And lastly, the Luxury hotel Grand Hyatt rounded off the top ten with a consideration score of 12.8.

“The YouGov Travel Brand Rankings 2022 is aimed at understanding how travel brands differentiate in the eyes of responsible travellers – defined as those who self-identify as being wellness-focused, culturally minded, and caring about environmental impact. The rankings spotlight the brands that score higher in terms of consideration amongst this audience group, based on YouGov BrandIndex Consideration scores from July 2021 to June 2022,” said YouGov.

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Marketing Featured APAC

Booking.com launches second edition of ‘Booking Explorers’ campaign

Singapore – Online travel agency and reservations company Booking.com has launched the second edition of its ‘Booking Explorers’ campaign, where it features more inspiring travel stories from leading personalities across Asia-Pacific.

This year’s campaign features five new personalities from Australia, India, South Korea, Vietnam and Japan. They include Former MasterChef Australia grand finalist Simon Toohey, upcoming Bollywood actor and Mumbai native Shanaya Kapoor, multidisciplinary artist MY Q, nature-loving lifestyle personality Tran Quang Dai, and Japanese supermodel Ai Tominaga.

Through this year’s Explorers, Booking.com aims to continue to celebrate the relentless spirit of travel, and their desire to keep experiencing and exploring all things new and familiar, whether it’s in their own backyards or around their home countries. 

“However, as much of the world seeks to travel again, we also recognise the need for sustainability: from avoiding single-use plastic and making smart, responsible choices when choosing stays, to transforming how and where we travel to so that we minimise our impact on the destinations we visit; and hopefully leave our destinations better than when we first arrived,” the company said.

Laura Houldsworth, managing director for Asia-Pacific at Booking.com, said, “As the world returns to travel with great enthusiasm, we want to inspire travellers in Asia Pacific through the rich stories of our explorers. They are truly inspirational with their desire to keep exploring despite the challenges faced — and now they invite us to dig deeper into the sights and cultures of the countries they call home and the destinations we likely have yet to discover. I hope these stories stir travellers everywhere to open their hearts and minds to new experiences and put sustainability at the forefront of all they do.”

The first ‘Booking Explorers’ campaign was first launched in August 2021.

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Platforms Featured ANZ

New Zealand amongst top countries in APAC most ready to travel again

New Zealand – Eight in 10 New Zealand travellers are set to travel in the next 12 months but are less willing to share their personal information for both safety and personalisation, according to a report by global online travel company Booking.com.

The data found that New Zealand was ranked fourth as the country with the most travel confidence. With India topping the poll, Vietnam, China, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Korea, as well as Taiwan, and Japan were also part of the ranking.

The same data also revealed that 79% of the surveyed travellers in New Zealand are most likely to travel in the next 12 months, while 49% consider leisure travel important during COVID-19, and 27% of the travellers would not postpone a trip despite the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, 41% are accepting anticipated travel disruptions, while 61% are comfortable with the reopening of borders. About 58% are also willing to share their personal information for safety, while 47% are willing to share their personal information for greater personalisation, and 58% have confidence with New Zealand receiving international travellers.

Moreover, the data shows that even with the resumption of international travel, a large majority of New Zealand travellers are likely to continue with domestic travel. Despite this, nearly half are likely to travel internationally in the next six months with the majority of travellers planning to travel within the APAC region. It also found that the pandemic has had some impact on the type of accommodation that travellers prefer with hotels emerging most popular, potentially due to a desire for more transparency around safety.

“The commissioned research polled 11,000 travellers from 11 countries and territories across Asia and Oceania between April and May 2022, combining this with the company’s proprietary data and insights as a digital travel leader over the past 25 years,” said Booking.com.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Booking.com merges food and art in pop-up for Environment Day in Singapore

Singapore – Digital travel platform Booking.com presents an exclusive art and food pop-up experience in Singapore, bringing sustainability and environmental consciousness to the fore this World Environment Day on 5 June. 

In a first-of-its-kind partnership with plant-based resto-bar Analogue Initiative, and artists Mama Magnet and Human Spectrum, the multi-faceted experience seeks to remind us all of our impact on the planet – a consciousness Booking.com hopes to reignite amongst travellers, especially as many start to explore the world again. 

Booking.com has specially commissioned collective Mama Magnet (Singapore) and artist Human Spectrum (Thailand), to create an interactive installation, titled “As We Move”. The light-focused piece invites visitors to interact with it via their own movements – challenging visitors to be more conscious of the imprint they leave behind, especially as they embark on their travels. 

With food a big part of how Singaporeans travel, A Conscious Affair spotlights food as a medium to get visitors to reflect on what and how they consume on their travels. Partnering with Singapore’s fully plant-based restaurant and bar, Analogue, which also marks the restaurant’s first travel collaboration – this unique tasting menu is inspired by iconic destinations around the world such as Japan, Spain and Morocco. 

As the light installation activates sight, sounds and the sense of touch (through kinetic movement), the intimate menu takes over the other human senses of taste and smell – giving visitors the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the experience, where they will hopefully be encouraged to think about the small but important steps each of us can take – how we consume, move and act – to make a real difference, as the world opens up again.

This dining experience will be open to consumers from 3 to 5 June, at Analogue.

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Platforms Featured APAC

Shopee partners leading travel platforms to unveil new ‘Shopee Hotel’

Singapore – Shopee has taken a new direction to their evolving e-commerce platform, this time partnering with online travel agencies and hotel booking platforms Agoda and Booking.com to offer its newest hotel booking offering on the Shopee platform, aptly called Shopee Hotel. 

Through this exclusive partnership, Shopee users will now be able to access one of the largest online inventories of hotels, resorts, homes, and apartments supplied by Agoda and Booking.com. The new feature will be rolled out across seven markets including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

In addition, Shopee Hotel will provide users with greater savings and exclusive travel deals, while also increasing the reach and visibility of hotel partners to boost domestic and international tourism. 

“The launch of Shopee Hotel is timely in meeting the needs of consumers, as domestic and international travel gradually re-opens in the region, and more people are planning holidays. Agoda’s search data in September revealed that searches for domestic stays have risen by over 57% compared to May this year. There has also been an increase of 37% more users in Southeast Asia searching for international destinations,” Shopee said in a press statement.

The platform allows the planning of travel itineraries within the app as well. As users browse for accommodations, they will be able to discover top landmarks near their chosen hotels, which can help them to explore local enclaves, neighborhoods, and attractions.

“We are pleased to partner with leading travel platforms, Agoda and Booking.com to launch Shopee Hotel, which serves to provide our users with easy access to a wider variety of travel products and experiences. We also look forward to supporting the recovery of local travel and related tourism industries by promoting fun staycation ideas together with hotel partners. We invite everyone to travel safely and earn greater savings by booking their next holiday through Shopee Hotel,” said Terence Pang, chief operating officer at Shopee.

Meanwhile, Damien Pfirsch, chief commercial officer at Agoda, noted that with travelers knowing and trusting Agoda and Booking.com to help make travel easier, their partnership with Shopee will help accelerate the recovery of the domestic and global travel and tourism industry in the long term.

“This partnership with Shopee, the first with a regional e-commerce partner, will conveniently bring these great deals to Shopee customers, on a platform they are familiar with. At the same time, we can better support our hotel partners and tourism operators by connecting them to the biggest online community of shoppers in Southeast Asia,” Pfrisch said.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Digital travel agency Booking.com sparks travel inspiration in new ‘Booking Explorers’ campaign

Singapore – With travel now under strong consideration and vaccination programs slowly gaining momentum in Asia, Booking.com, the online travel arm of Booking Holdings for lodging reservations and other travel products, has announced the inaugural launch of its new campaign that aims to re-ignite travel inspiration.

The new campaign is a celebration of the trailblazers and explorers among people, shedding light on why travel has continued to remain so fundamental to their identities and showcasing what a return to travel could mean to people personally.

Titled, ‘Booking Explorers’, the campaign is a series of stories by leading personalities in the APAC region, such as Amazing Race Australia winners, Tim Sattler and Rod Jones, who have traveled the world proudly representing the freedom to love and who advocate making travel more inclusive for the LGBTQ+ community. It also features Indian multiple Grand Slam Champion, Sania Mirza, who was a global citizen that pursued a successful professional career in tennis before the pandemic, and Korean alternative pop band, Leenalchi, who connected people through the power of their music by traveling the world to find inspiration for new songs and interacting with global fans. 

In addition, rising style icon and global fashion model, Chau Bui, was also featured in the campaign. She calls Vietnam home but has traveled from Seoul to Paris, New York, and Milan to find inspiration for her unique style. And lastly, the campaign includes the famed Japanese illustrator in Paris, Kaori Watanabe, who expanded her mental comfort zones through travel and used this new perspective to create art that transports us to faraway lands.

Laura Houldsworth, Booking.com’s managing director and vice president for APAC, shared that the campaign is a heartfelt reminder of travel’s transformational impact and celebrates the spirit of travel through the voices of the explorers, who were forced to look inwards during this time and found new inspiration in the travel where it was possible while advocating for their greatest passions from home.

“With travel slowly resuming, it is my hope that these stories will bring a message of hope to our Asian travelers; and continue to broaden our horizons on how we can still experience our world responsibly when it’s safe to do so,” said Houldsworth.

The new ‘Booking Explorers’ campaign will be available at www.bookingexplorers.com.

Categories
Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Sustainability peeking as top metric of SG travelers on accommodation choice: report

Singapore – Indeed, the gravity of the pandemic has prompted everyone to rethink the climate of everything we’ve come to identify as normal pre-covid, and even without a direct link, at the start of the spread of the virus, the conversation, specifically on sustainability and the health of the environment, has become even louder. 

The most prominent being is how people are theorizing that the halted operations of businesses are what will lead to a drastic reduction in carbon footprint. Interestingly, a new study by booking platform Booking.com is showing that the pandemic has become an influence for people to travel more sustainably in the future. 

According to the latest study, 70% of Singaporeans stated that the pandemic has encouraged them to be even more environment-conscious when traveling. The study finds that in general, people are expressing pressing concern over the environment with 74% of Singaporean travelers believing that people have to act now to save the planet for future generations

Based on the study, Singaporean travelers are determined to extend their daily sustainable commitments, such as reducing general waste and energy consumption, when making their travels. When traveling, about 83% eyes minimizing general waste, with 81% wanting to lessen their energy consumption such as turning off air conditioning and lights when they are not in a room. Meanwhile, a good percentage – 77% – are also willing to look to more environment-friendly modes of transport such as walking, cycling or public transport over taxis or rental cars when traveling. 

The study found that Singaporeans’ desire to take part in the sustainability movement is not only as good as a pledge, with data showing that people are starting to get on the act, and are staying true to their word. 

About 47% of Singaporean travelers revealed that while on vacation in the past 12 months, they have made the conscious decision of turning off their air conditioning or heater in their accommodation when they weren’t there. Meanwhile, 43% of travelers within the same period took their own reusable water bottle, rather than buying bottled water while on vacation, while 30% stated that they did activities to support the local community. 

Truly, sustainable living is becoming a lifestyle commitment, with people bringing their conscious habits outside their homes. This behavior has also become apparent with how people are viewing accommodations. 

The study reported that over half, or 55%, have admitted that they get annoyed if somewhere they are staying stops them from being sustainable, for example, by not offering recycling facilities. A vast majority – 90% – of Singaporean travelers have also expressed desire in staying in sustainable accommodation in the upcoming year, with 59% still believing that in 2021, there simply aren’t enough sustainable travel options available. 

In fact, 77% of Singaporean travelers would be more likely to choose an accommodation if it has implemented sustainability practices, with a similar amount, 75%, thinking travel companies should offer more sustainable choices. 

This comes as a valuable insight for hospitality companies, tourist spots, and travel accommodations as travelers, specifically the Singapore market, are using sustainability as a metric of whether a certain place is worth staying in. Such finding is proving its importance even more as nations are prepping up to ease travel restrictions. 

Nuno Guerreiro, regional director of Booking.com for South Asia, Oceania & Chains, said that the time is ripe for the industry to rebuild with a renewed focus on sustainability, as seen with recent efforts by Singapore to boost its transformation into a sustainable destination.

Singapore is a country that has been doubling down on its efforts on sustainable tourism, announcing in April its allocation of S$68.5m into its Tourism Development Fund for travel businesses looking to test-bed sustainable tourism offerings. 

“Despite travel being on a pause across most Asia-Pacific countries, it’s been inspiring to see awareness of the importance of sustainable travel consistently grow,“ Guerreiro said. 

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Optimism on the rise among Singaporean travelers on travel resumption: report

Singapore – Despite current travel restriction implementations brought by national governments to combat COVID-19, a large majority of Singaporeans are optimistic that travel restrictions will be lifted soon, and that travel will resume, new statistics from a report by booking platform Booking.com shows.

According to the research, seven in ten Singaporean travelers (71%) feel more hopeful about traveling in 2021 due to the unwavering commitment of the scientific and medical communities and the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines, and potential air travel bubble developments. The same amount (70%) states that not being able to travel extensively in 2020 has made them yearn for travel even more in 2021. 

Part of the growing optimism among Singaporeans can be attributed to the current rollout of vaccines in the country, as the research shows that slightly over half (63%) of Singaporean travelers state that they won’t travel internationally until they have been vaccinated, which rises to 69% among those 55 years old and above, while a greater amount (67%) of Singaporean travelers showing willingness to travel only to countries that have implemented vaccination programs. But there still is some hesitation, with almost half (52%) remaining skeptical as to whether a vaccine will truly help make travel safer. 

Despite feeling mostly optimistic, travelers all around the world acknowledge that not being able to travel in 2020 as they used to in previous years has had a significant effect on their well-being, with over half (52%) of Singaporean travelers reporting a negative impact on their mental health and 47% stating they have felt imprisoned in their own home due to travel restrictions.

Around 65% of Singaporean travelers also say travel is more important to them now than it was before the pandemic. So much so that almost two thirds (65%) of Singaporean travelers would even go so far as stating that they would rather go on a vacation in 2021 than find true love. Meanwhile, 59% would prioritize traveling over success at work, preferring to go on vacation than getting promoted.

Meanwhile, six in ten (62%) Singaporean travelers have used the increased time at home to plan future travel while slightly over half (54%) banking more vacation days, feeling excited about the potential of taking longer vacations in 2021. When dreaming about their next vacation, 51% of Singaporean travelers feel confident that they’ll be able to hit the beach by summer 2021, and 18% say a relaxing beach or spa trip will be the first type of trip when it’s safe to do so. After an exhausting year, only 9% will book a city break and just 5% say an active break is a priority.

Following the impact that COVID-19 has had on the travel industry, 96% of Singaporean travelers think the industry needs to be supported to get back on its feet. Nearly three quarters (74%) believe that government financial stimuli are now needed to help travel’s recovery and over two thirds (69%) worry that the industry won’t survive unless it is supported with government grants. 

In terms of more practical regulations, 75% state that wider access to pre-travel COVID-19 testing is needed, and 73% say that governments should collaborate with travel associations and providers to set more consistent standards.

According to Nuno Guerreiro, regional director for South Asia, Oceania, and Chains at Booking.com, the company remains firmly committed to supporting everyone on their journey to getting back to travel, as soon as it’s safe to do so.

“We have grown over the past year navigating the pandemic, as our consumers have too, and we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to experience the world together again soon as we work together with all those in the travel industry to ensure its recovery,” Guerreiro stated.

He added, “With our mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, when the time is right to discover the places, cultures and experiences we’ve all been dreaming of, we will make sure you can find them on Booking.com.”