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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.”

Categories
Platforms Featured Global

Emirates’ direct connect platform offers exclusive content for travel agents

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Global airline Emirates has announced that Emirates Gateway, a direct connect platform, will offer travel partners and agents of the airline exclusive content, including bespoke products and services, as well as differentiated pricing.

Emirates Gateway was initially launched in October last year, and is in line with Emirates’ plans to cater a dynamic marketplace by providing trade partners with a choice of connection options and differentiated products and benefits across channels.

Emirates is working closely with interested trade partners to bring them onboard the Emirates Gateway, which provides access to the widest range of Emirates fare products including exclusive content not available in the indirect channels, and where bookings will not incur a Distribution Surcharge.

The following New Distribution Capability (NDC) content will be available to agents, via Emirates Gateway including access to differentiated ticket pricing such as dedicated promotional fares and pre-sales as well as rich content, selling excess baggage, enable enhanced customer experience, differentiated pricing for select ancillary service as well as faster access to new ancillary products.

“Our goal is to empower our trade partners to deliver even better customer experiences, and we are pleased to introduce the next batch of new exclusive features and benefits for them on Emirates Gateway, which was launched to address the limitations of current legacy systems and provide a wide range of additional content and options for agents,” said Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ chief commercial officer.

Kazim added, “We are heartened by the support and positive feedback that we’ve received from our trade and Global Distribution Systems (GDS) partners to date. Emirates firmly believes in healthy, long-term relationships with all players in the travel ecosystem, and we will continue to work hard to nurture the relationships that we’ve built through the years by providing great value and service.”

Emirates Gateway content can be accessed through three flexible access solutions:

  • Emirates Booking Portal: a user-friendly web booking portal available in 16 languages, connected directly to Emirates’ reservation systems that simplifies the booking, ticketing and post-ticketing servicing of Emirates orders
  • Emirates Gateway Direct: which provides access to Emirates content through IATA standard NDC APIs, allowing our trade partners to build applications that meet their needs
  • Emirates Gateway Sync: a facilitated link to Emirates products and services provided by IATA registered, Emirates certified technology partners
Categories
Marketing Featured APAC

Marriott International’s new program gives new meaning to ‘good travel’

Hong Kong – Global hospitality brand Marriott International has recently unveiled its new travel program ‘Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy’, a campaign befitting the purpose of meaningful travel in the APAC region.

Marriott’s new travel campaign aims at travelers looking to create a meaningful impact on the places they visit by providing an opportunity for them to forge first-hand connections with local communities and the environment during their stay, promoting both cultural understanding and positive change between the tourists and the locals.

The ‘Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy’ will be offering curated purpose-driven experiences that focus on three distinct pillars, namely ‘Environmental Protection’ which aims to support the resiliency of the natural environment due to environmental degradation, pollution, and climate change; ‘Community Engagement’ which aims to create a positive impact in the communities where Marriott International properties operate through cultural education or volunteerism, and ‘Marine Conservation’ which aims to restore and preserve marine ecosystems and species.

Marriott-International-Impactful-Travel

Tourists can enjoy tourist visits that range from mangrove conservation in Fiji, coral transplantation and restoration in Okinawa and Maldives, beach cleanups in Sanya and Busan, to food redistribution in Bali.

“One of the growing trends we’re observing is how conscious guests are of their personal impact on the destinations they visit. The launch of Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy aspires to shift the way vacations are perceived – from pure leisure to value-adding opportunities to learn more about the natural environment and forge new connections with the local community,” said Bart Buiring, chief sales and marketing officer of Marriott International Asia Pacific

He added, “Our ambition is to expand the program to most of our Asia Pacific leisure destinations over time, and be ready to welcome guests with meaningful travel experiences once travel returns.”

The program pilots at 15 Marriott International hotels across Asia Pacific.

Categories
Marketing Featured APAC

Study shows Gen Zs in APAC are itching to travel with friends amid new normal

Hong Kong – Travel has been and is continuously being restricted in the name of safety precautions amid the pandemic, and people are raring to relish their wanderlust, where one of the top reasons is to be able to reconnect with friends. 

Across age brackets, Gen Zs in APAC feel the unhappiest about limited travel for social reconnect, with 85% in the region, according to a survey by travel and leisure booking platform Klook and marketing research firm YouGov. This was followed by Millennials in the region (86%), Gen Xs (81%), and Baby Boomers (77%).

Respondents across APAC were also found to used to use travel to make new friends, where more than half, or 60%, stated they resent not being able to do such in the middle of limited travel. Similarly, Gen Zs accounted for the majority of this group with 70%, which doesn’t come as a surprise with the generation known to value social currency the most.

The study also showed that people want to resume traveling to be able to “escape their from families.” Gen Zs and millennials feel strongly about this with 66% and 62% respectively, which can be attributed to months-long confinement with family members during lockdowns.

Due to lower confidence in traveling and stricter cross-border clearances, the study also found that people are extra careful in spending their vacation leaves at work. Respondents revealed they are having difficulty in using their annual leave or holiday breaks without feeling like they are “wasting it,” which is especially true for Gen Zs (73%) and Millennials (71%). 

Having unearthed such insights, Klook coins the term “Wanderlost,” which it refers to as the longing for travel. 

Its Vice President for APAC Marketing Marcus Yong said, “From wanderlust to wanderlost, people unmistakably miss traveling this 2020 and are keen to scratch that travel itch. Despite international travel restrictions, we can still easily remedy our ‘wanderlost symptoms’ with the endless things-to-do in our own backyard.”