Friday, July 12, 2024

Agoda launches new products to facilitate safe travel

Agoda, a global digital travel platform, has launched a multitude of products across the customer booking funnel to improve the accessibility and efficiency of travel in a post-Covid landscape.

Launched as an extension of its existing ‘Welcome Back’ campaign, Agoda’s cutting-edge technology not only make travel easier for customers, but also enables hotel partners to better capture travel demand.

Agoda has expanded its alternative state quarantine (ASQ) packages for travelers looking to book accommodation for their mandatory quarantine needs across Asia. Repatriates and in-bound travelers can now search availability, room type, and pricing in real-time and pick from a total of over 600 government-approved hotels worldwide, including new locations in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Philippines, with more market options expected to join the program in the coming months.

By simplifying the search and booking process on its easily accessible platform, participating hotels will also benefit from Agoda’s extensive international reach and robust marketing strategies to drive higher exposure and conversion, for travelers looking for a greater selection of quarantine hotels as more markets reopen.

“As international travel remains complex, it is not enough to just have good supply and price. We want to give our customers further autonomy and flexibility over quarantine stays, clarity on which type of rates they need to book, and what requirements and restrictions exist for their travel route,” said Enric Casals, Regional Vice President, Partner Services, Southeast Asia and Oceania.

Navigating through Covid-19 restrictions

Agoda has partnered with Sherpa, a digital solutions provider, to build a travel restrictions world map explorer. The interactive map housed on Agoda’s platform will detail entry restrictions and Covid-19 documentation, testing requirement, quarantine protocols and more – for destinations around the world. The web-based widget pulls together the latest data and information in real-time via an interactive map for easy navigation.

This secure solution connects across Agoda’s customer journey via homepage banners, property listings and hotel pages, across web, mobile and app, to further reinforce booking decisions and drive conversions, across the funnel. Travellers can choose a country or territory on the map to identify what restrictions are in place, before inputting their passport issuing country, origin and destination country and vaccination status.

Going one level further to inspire travel, Agoda has built a curated selection of country and city guides housing in-depth information of top travel destinations. The content is aimed at capturing granular details of differing interstate and interzonal requirements, highlighting things to do, places to visit safely, and travel tips in a post-pandemic environment.

The first guide for Thailand will be launched later this week followed by other popular destinations such as the Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, France, US, UAE, South Korea, Japan, and Singapore by the end of the year.

Using technology to innovate the travel experience

Agoda innovates to help hotel partners find new strategies to bolster the return to travel. Its recently launched ‘Welcome Back’ promotions will promote international travel via a large marketing campaign across multiple platforms together, similar to Agoda’s, with a promise of lower rates.

Upcoming products in the pipeline include new Vaccination Badges which will showcase the vaccination status of hotel staff, with further information on the safety and hygiene standards of each property. This aims to help more conscious travelers gain the confidence/assurance needed in their travel decisions. The travel platform is also working with third-party providers for Covid testing capabilities in key regions. If successful in its test markets, the business plans to scale this service globally with other services like Covid-related insurance plans, rapid test kits and more.

“These products add to an ever-expanding repertoire of integrated marketing campaigns that have been recently rolled for our partners. Our recent GoLocal and VaxxedTo Go initiatives have proven successful in driving traffic to properties by leveraging Agoda’s various marketing touchpoints and property badges for easy filtered searching. We want to continue building on this to help stimulate both domestic and international tourism,” added Enric Casals.

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