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The Enduring Power of Partnerships By Jane Sun

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, October 24, 2023/ — Through collaboration, we unlock value. The value of a win-win creates strong commitment towards maximising each party’s opportunities and success. Far beyond a legal contract, the best partnerships strengthen common goals through shared desires and a mission. At Trip.com Group, we firmly believe that to go far, we must go together. This philosophy forms the cornerstone of our journey as we strive “To pursue the perfect trip for a better world”.

Standing strong with our partners

“Customers first; Partners second; Ourselves third”. This has been our mantra and has guided our actions during the pandemic. In times of uncertainty, leaders need to lead and inspire with confidence. Our partners would recall that Trip.com Group took immediate action from the onset of the pandemic through various initiatives, including supporting our 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 the uncertainties at that point in time. Apart from these support schemes, we initiated many campaigns to boost confidence, including the launch of our BOSS Live series of livestream sessions. We also launched our 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 our collaborations with partners from around the world, the global travel industry gradually recovered.

Today, travel has resumed, and travellers 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 changing requirements of travellers as well as emerging challenges.

Technological advancements

Customers and partners are at the heart of everything we do, and we have been investing in technology and innovation to enhance user experience while promoting our partners’ offerings to their targetted consumers, including high-spending tourists, eco-conscious travellers, among others.

Take for instance the launch of a series of AI-enhanced curated lists, which include “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 travellers 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 our 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, our 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 travellers 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 our all-in-one Trip.com app, we build strong communities between travellers and partners to deepen travel experiences and appetite for travel. Our Trip Moments platform brings together travellers who share their experiences, recommendations, and reviews, creating a rich source of user-generated content that informs both travellers and partners. Engaged by 35% of our app users, this platform attracts and retains travellers 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 our collaborations with our hotel partners in recent years. Through targeted campaigns such as the Mega Sale, Super Destination, and Weekend Super Sale, we have achieved 300 million RMB GMV growth for our valued hotel partners.

Our upcoming plans include the introduction of the Preferred Partner Programme (PPP), our multi-channel marketing plan which is designed with our partners in mind. It goes beyond marketing; it’s about unlocking the full potential of our partners’ properties. We expect partners on this programme to gain an additional 120% exposure and, on average, experience a 60% increase in production.

We have enhanced our distribution channels for international airfare partners, providing them with improved distribution efficiency via multiple channels, including our 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 our partners, we have 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. Our platform is available in more than 20 languages, and serves hundreds of millions of customers across the globe.

Looking ahead, we 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 the national economic growth for many countries, and Trip.com Group is committed to collaborating with our partners to contribute positively to the communities in various markets.

Let us 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.

Jane Sun, CEO of Trip.com Group, spoke at the SuperBridge Dubai Summit, which took place on 16 and 17 October at the Museum of the Future, Dubai.

 

By Jane Sun

Jane Sun is the of CEO, Trip.com Group

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