Group joins WTTC in launching Safe Travels protocol

SHANGHAI, May 14, 2020—— Leading international online travel services provider (OTA) Group today announced its role in overseeing the implementation of an industry initiative led by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), set to lend impetus to the revival of the sector.

Jane Sun, WTTC Vice Chair and Group CEO (pictured) speaks at WTTC event.

Following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel industry, the "Safe Travels" protocol, announced today by the WTTC, aims to rebuild confidence among consumers by bringing together industry leaders and partners to implement the best available guidelines on health and safety. The standards, based on advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health authorities, will enable the industry to standardise practices across the board, and give consumers the necessary assurance to travel safely and at ease when it becomes practical to do so.

"For us and our partners, the safety of travellers is always our top priority. At this defining moment for the travel industry, we welcome this important initiative from WTTC, bringing together partners in the sector to give travellers the assurance they need," said Jane Sun, CEO of Group and Vice Chair of the WTTC. "Whenever you're ready to travel again, we'll be here."

Implementation of today's standards is the latest move in a series of initiatives by the leading OTA to deliver assurance and safety to users, and support to partners. Throughout the pandemic, the company led an industry initiative which provided refunds and flexibility for affected travelers through its Safeguard Cancellation Guarantee. In addition to facilitating generous cancellation provisions, Group has allocated significant funds to supporting its partners in industry revival efforts, and developed various tools to help inform safe travel decisions for customers, such as the COVID-19 International Traveler's Guide, which provides timely updates on restrictions, outbreaks, cancellation policies, and other relevant information to prospective travelers.