Trip.com, one of China’s biggest online travel agencies, introduced on Tuesday a range of initiatives in an effort to revitalize its core business after the Covid-19 pandemic brought most of the world to a standstill.
Why it matters: After its business plummeted during the epidemic lockdowns around the world, Trip.com is joining tech giants like Alibaba in offering discounts and coupons to spur traveler consumption.
- As new cases in China die down, travel is beginning to show signs of recovery.
- After years of global expansion efforts, Chairman James Liang said during the Q1 earnings call in end-May that the company would focus on domestic travel for the near term given the “uncertainties outside of China.”
- The new promotion is part of a global promotion including hotels in more than 180 countries, signaling that the company is readying a post-Covid-19 strategy.
Details: At an online event held on Monday, Trip.com announced it would giving customers access to steep discounts of up to 60% on flexible advance reservations with more than 30,000 hotels located in upwards of 180 countries.
- Under a new marketing model, the company formerly known as Ctrip plans to hold a series of in-destination livestream broadcasts from destinations across the world.
- The livestreams will offer additional exclusive discounts. The company has said that millions watch its livestreams, which account for more than $70 million in sales.
- In a joint report with Google, Trip.com found that short-haul travel, safety, and flexibility are new priorities for the travel industry in the near future.
- In response to shifting traveler priorities, the company is making its pandemic-era change fee waiver program a permanent fixture with its “Flexibooking” guarantee.
Context: The Nasdaq-listed company operates travel booking sites including Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Qunar.
- Trip.com recorded a net loss of RMB 5.4 billion ($754 million) in Q1 this year, down from net income of RMB 4.6 billion in the same period last year.
- Along with its travel platform peers, the company began in early February to waive fees normally charged for canceling or changing bookings for hotels, tours, and airplane and train tickets when Covid-19 lockdowns began to take hold.