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Booking.com Annual Partner Summit Delivers Vision for Future of Travel

March 23, 2021 OTA News No Comments

As the travel industry heads into one of its most critical years, at Booking.com’s annual partner summit – Click. – the digital travel platform shared its vision for how it will help shape the recovery and future of the industry as well as key business priorities for 2021 and beyond. Bringing together thousands of accommodation, transport, technology and travel experience businesses from across the globe, Click. seeks to inspire, support and connect Booking.com partners, particularly at this pivotal time.  The event kicked off with a tone of optimism towards the industry’s recovery from CEO Glenn Fogel, “Hope has arrived in the form of vaccines that will, over time, bring us back to that world in which the joy of travel is felt by all. We will get there and Booking.com will be doing everything we can to get to that day sooner, working with all of [our partners].”

Within a highly interconnected travel ecosystem, Booking.com is focused on working in true partnership by stimulating demand for providers across the entire industry, listening and responding to partners across the globe and continuing to remove friction from travel for both travelers and the people who make the travel experience possible. From an intense focus on helping deliver its partners demand to further emphasis on its payments platform and Genius loyalty program as well as making it easier for partners to share their sustainability information with customers, the virtual conference made clear that the months ahead will see Booking.com work towards a better and brighter future of travel.

Delivering Demand to Partners As Travel Reemerges

At Click., Booking.com laid out how it will assure its partners get the strategic advice, products, tools and services they need to capture demand as it returns, as a direct response to what partners have said is needed most right now. The platform is building different programs to help its partners find the right combination of products and services to accelerate their recovery, including its Partner Performance Investment Program and Genius loyalty program. Alongside these initiatives, Booking.com continues to leverage its expertise in digital demand generation, innovating to make it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for with an updated search experience, and then incentivizing them to book, as it becomes safe to travel.

Eliminating Friction with Payments Offering

Working to deliver great value in a trustworthy and transparent way to its customers has long been a priority for Booking.com, from offering a wide diversity of choice to the way it displays availability and prices – including not surprising customers with hidden costs along the way – and ensuring information can always be easily understood and compared by everyone. One key component of this in the future is continued investment in and expansion of Booking.com’s payment platform so travelers can pay in the method they want to while minimizing operational workload and costs for its partners across the travel ecosystem. As emphasized by Fogel at the event, payments will prove to be an area of strategic focus for the business in 2021 and beyond.

Evolution of the Genius Loyalty Programme

Booking.com shared its vision for the future of its loyalty program, Genius, to help its property partners gain even more visibility, increase bookings and grow their businesses in 2021 and beyond. The expansion seeks to bring the great value of the Genius program to even more customers while increasing visibility for and driving additional travelers to Genius properties, in line with Booking.com’s commitment to do everything we can to deliver business to its accommodation partners as it becomes safe to travel again. The company is offering its partners the flexibility they need now more than ever, so participating in the expanded Genius program is totally optional and a choice partners can make based on their individual business needs.

Journey Towards a More Sustainable Travel Industry

While this remains a challenging time for travel, it is also an opportunity to rebuild a more sustainable industry together, a long-standing priority for Booking.com that was reinforced at Click. Recent survey data found that 70% of consumers say they would be more likely to choose an accommodation if they knew it was implementing sustainable practices. One way Booking.com is making it easier for consumers to make sustainable travel choices and helping partners to capture that consumer interest is to encourage its accommodation partners to update any and all sustainable practices in their extranet, Booking.com’s partner portal, as even small changes are important to highlight. The annual partner meeting made clear that these early steps in the journey towards making sustainable travel easier for everyone are not only important, but necessary as part of the collective movement to ensure there’s a world worth experiencing.

We welcome you to learn more about these topics and tune into key sessions at Click. featuring Booking.com CEO Glenn Fogel, Chief Marketing Officer Arjan Dijk, Vice President for Global Accommodations Ripsy Bandourian and more. These sessions will be available on Booking.com’s Partner Hub, beginning on 19 March 2021 with new content arriving each day thereafter.

If you are interested in speaking with Justine Lim, Booking.com Area Manager for Hong Kong about these topics and Booking.com’s outlook on the future of travel, please contact hk-booking@ketchum.com.

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