Trips abroad take off for holiday

An Egyptian dancer takes photos with Chinese tourists at Cairo International Airport on Jan 20. During the Spring Festival holiday, Egypt has once again welcomed Chinese tourists. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese tourists boost overseas travel recovery during weeklong Spring Festival

Chinese tourists have shown a strong enthusiasm for traveling abroad during this year”s Spring Festival break, following China’s quarantine-free cross-border travel since Jan 8 after nearly three years, with Southeast Asia being the big winner during the holiday.

The weeklong Spring Festival served as the first long holiday after the government optimized COVID-19 control measures. The most popular overseas destinations for Chinese tourists include Bangkok and Chiang Mai in Thailand, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Manila in the Philippines and Bali in Indonesia, according to Trip.com, China’s largest online travel agency.

During Spring Festival, the volume of outbound travel orders surged 640 percent year-on-year. The number of orders for overseas hotels and international flights booked by Chinese mainland tourists both increased by more than four times the figure from the last Spring Festival, Trip.com found.

“The outbound travel market is expected to see a more apparent boom during the May Day holiday with the gradual increase of international flights and improved travel convenience. This year’s travel market is set to see a remarkable recovery,” said Shen Jiani, a senior researcher at Trip.com.

Meanwhile, starting Feb 6, China will resume outbound group tours to 20 selected countries, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Those countries are Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Russia, Switzerland, Hungary, New Zealand, Fiji, Cuba and Argentina.

After announcing the notice in late January, the number of searches for overseas group tours surged on various online travel platforms. The search for group tours

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7 Takeaways From Online Travel Agencies Slugging It Out on Mobile

Skift Take

Once dismissed as a commission-free loss leader, flights are a new battleground as Expedia and Hopper compete over keywords and customers on mobile.

Online Travel This Week

There were winners, including Vrbo, Hopper, and Expedia, and losers such as Airbnb, in the first half of 2022 in the U.S. as online travel agencies competed with one another via mobile app updates; Snap, TikTok, and TV marketing campaigns; and other forms of paid search spend.

Here are seven takeaways from Apptopia’s U.S. app download findings (see chart below) among online travel agencies in the first half of this year:

1. It’s Good to Have Vacation Rentals
Apps that offers travelers vacation rentals generally have more traction than apps devoid of vacation rentals. Note to hotel chains such as Hilton and Hyatt that have largely abstained from vacation rentals: Get in the game. OK, we hear they are indeed readying a debut in vacation rentals, as is American Express Fine Hotels.

2. Vrbo Was Most Downloaded App
Fueled by doubling its growth rate in the U.S. in 2022, Vrbo was the most-downloaded app with 10 million downloads. Vrbo was #4 last year so it overtook , Airbnb, and Hopper to achieve its #1 status so far in 2022. Airbnb fell from second most-downloaded app in the U.S. in 2022 to fifth in the first half of 2022.

3. Airbnb Spent Marketing Dollars to Counter a Vrbo Organic Advantage
Vrbo was the top organic result for the keyword “vacation rentals,” which may be because it has always focused on and been known for whole homes. Airbnb invested in paid search for the keyword “vacation rentals” in Apple’s App Store in April, as well as for “vrbo” in a bid to topple its rival,

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Here’s a tours marketplace to put on your radar: Travel Weekly

Jamie Biesiada

Jamie Biesiada

TourRadar, an aggregator of multiday tours, is venturing further into the travel agency space.

Late last year, TourRadar formed a global partnership with Flight Centre Travel Group, integrating TourRadar’s inventory and bookable content into Flight Centre’s agent platform.

Earlier this year, TourRadar launched a Partner Portal, enabling travel advisors to search and book multiday adventures for their clients, with an average commission of around 8%. It’s free to sign up.

CEO Travis Pittman hopes it’s just the beginning of TourRadar’s larger relationship with the travel agency community.

There are around 2,000 agents signed up for the Partner Portal, Pittman said, with about 1,000 in North America.

“We’re seeing great success where they’re not able to access this product that they don’t have contracts with these tour operators,” Pittman said. “They previously couldn’t earn commission on some of these products.”

TourRadar offers inventory from large providers, like G Adventures and Globus, but also from smaller tour operators and DMCs around the world. In total, it offers 50,000 multiday adventures around the world, more than half of which are instantly bookable.

And Pittman hopes to form relationships with more agency groups, including consortia.

How TourRadar got its start

Pittman founded TourRadar in 2010 with his brother, Shawn, after a trip the two took to Croatia. They booked a sailing trip and wired $5,000 to the supplier, only to find no one there when they arrived. They eventually did find the supplier, but the whole experience — not being able to reach 24/7 customer support and not knowing if their money was just gone — spurred them to start to build out TourRadar’s marketplace.

It was originally designed as a site where people could share travel photos, but the rise of Facebook meant pivoting, Pittman said. It was then

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