Expedia commits to recovering industry

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Expedia commits to recovering industry
Freddy Dominguez, Expedia
June 08, 2020

The firm has been more active than ever and has developed a set of initiatives. To know the details we interviewed your VP LATAM & Caribe

June has marked the restart of tourism operations in some markets, while others are still planning the details to operate in the so-called "new normal". If there is something that has become clear, it is that the business rules have been reformulated. In this context, it is vital to know the vision and plans of a company like Expedia Group. That is why we interviewed his VP LATAM & Caribe, Freddy Dominguez. We share the same below.

What initiatives is Expedia Group implementing?
We are sure that to overcome this crisis, the tourism industry and especially small entrepreneurs, therefore local businesses, need support and concrete actions. For this reason, our focus is to rebuild the industry, regain interest in Latin American destinations and help our partners' companies to get on their feet is essential to chart the path to recovery in all countries and markets.
One of our most recent investigations showed that our partners want support in three fundamental areas, as they recover from the pandemic: with travel trends (leisure or domestic); by increasing your visibility on Expedia Group sites; and with promotions for travelers, including financial relief.
Each partner we have is and has different needs, which is why we create programs and tools that are scalable and can be adapted both to meet the needs of our small and medium-sized partners, and to meet the conditions of each market locally .
As part of the restoration efforts, we have committed $ 250 million to help our independent partners and small and medium-sized chains rebuild their businesses, attract high-value guests, and optimize the revenue stream. Additionally, to provide additional financial relief to our partners, we are reducing compensation on all bookings made within a three-month period (from the start of program implementation in each market), regardless of dates of stay.
We launched a feature that allows hosting partners to highlight the health and hygiene measures of their properties. Services include contactless check-in and check-out, hand sanitizer in all rooms, improved cleaning, and social withdrawal measures, among others.
To ensure reservation flexibility, almost 70% of accommodation rate plans are now refundable on Expedia Group sites.
When searching for flights on Expedia.com, customers can now filter for refundable fares, allowing them to exchange or return flights as needed.

Within this panorama, how do you prepare to reactivate operations? And what are the goals for the end of the year because the forecasts have been ruined?
To revive the demand for travel, we will provide a $ 25 million advertising fund so that destinations stay in the minds of consumers.
This bailout plan focuses on destination-driven cooperative campaigns, bringing together industry providers in the destination with like-minded audiences, allowing you to best manage your advertising spend and maximize your conversions.
Our disaster recovery toolkit has been proven to help destinations and partners interested in getting back into business.
With our exclusive data, tools and reliable advisors, destinations, companies and travel businesses can mitigate the impact of crises, through resources and knowledge that has been proven necessary to inspire, involve and welcome again. travelers getting real results.
Our solutions include visualization, sponsored listings, audience extension, and personalized campaigns. The above, with a sophisticated orientation to reach the right client at the ideal time and with the right message, to obtain better results.

Do you think that the countries that best managed the health situation will have the advantage to grow receptive?
The demand or interest in traveling to different Latin American countries will depend on a number of factors and we cannot predict who will have the advantage. What we have observed is the appetite to travel again; first domestically on road trips. Starting in May, we noticed an increase in destination searches on our sites, to start traveling again in three or four months. So we are helping our hosting partners prepare for when demand returns.
Furthermore, Expedia Group and all its brands work proactively with international organizations, local governments and the travel industry to ensure that hotels, homeowners, property managers and travelers receive clear and aligned information on health and hygiene. Expedia Group got involved in the issue with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the European Commission, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), as well as with the EU travel technology (formerly the European Association Technology and Travel Services - ETTSA) and the European Association of Holiday Homes (EHHA), to start working on creating protocols that allow industry providers to regain the traveler's confidence in traveling.



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