Trip.com Group, a global travel service provider, held its 2021 Global Partner Summit in Macao today. At the Summit, company Chairman and Co-founder James Liang outlined how he views the progression of international travel recovery and reinforced the Group’s continuous efforts to foster industry efforts geared toward recovery.
Liang believes global vaccination rates will continue to rise and, as a result, more countries and regions will open their borders. This will lead to a return to international travel once again in the near future.
Also at the summit, Liang expressed his views about the metaverse. He argued that people should be wary of the sense of achievement brought by the metasverse and shouldn’t lose their desire to explore the real world. In terms of complexity and logic, he thinks the metaverse is far less than the real universe.
In Liang’s opinion, at the moment when the concept of metaverse has become popular and the tourism industry has been significantly impacted by the epidemic, all the players involved in the industry have great responsibilities. He added, “We must make the travel experience more fun and interactive, and turn the metaverse into a source of inspiration for users to explore the real universe.”
Jane Sun, CEO of Trip.com Group, shared the company’s performance results from the past year and stated that challenges still remain for the travel industry.
Sun shared that both domestic hotel bookings and air ticket bookings in Mainland China saw double-digit growth in Q2 2021 compared to the same period in 2019. Whilst on Trip.com, a sub-brand of Trip.com Group, global domestic hotel bookings increased by over 160% in Q3 2021 compared to Q3 2019. Cross-border air ticket bookings in Europe also saw an increase of 200% in Q3 2021 compared to the previous quarter.
During the opening ceremony of the Summit, the Macao Government Tourism Office and Trip.com Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further promote travel to Macao. This is the second year that Macao tourism authorities and Trip.com Group have entered into official collaboration.
In 2021, the two parties’ partnership saw Macao travel bookings on Trip.com Group platforms increase by 244% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. The number of travelers to Macao saw a 150% QoQ increase, and “Macao” keyword searches grew by 216% YoY.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Trip.com Group has rolled out innovative plans and products to boost its content marketing ecosystem. Trip.com Group now has 200 million users who engage with the travel content on its Ctrip sub-brand platform, of which up to 30% make a booking within a month after accessing the platform’s content.
Livestreaming, a key pillar in Trip.com Group’s content marketing ecosystem, continues to drive bookings. Since Ctrip developed dedicated livestreaming channels on its platform, bookings generated from livestreams increased nearly 15 times in Q3 2021 compared to the previous quarter.