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Welcome back, EU: Booking.com funds travel credits to stimulate demand

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Summer is starting to heat up in Europe as vaccinations roll out across the region. To further stimulate demand and capture bookings for you, we’re offering a reward to European travellers

Restrictions across Europe are starting to ease following the successful progression of vaccination programmes in many countries. According to the European Commission and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), 62% of EU adults have now received at least one dose of vaccine. Simultaneously, we’re seeing an uptick in searches as many countries open up once again – a strong indication that travellers are ready to get back out there and back into your properties.

To help stimulate additional demand in the region and make it easier for travellers to turn their pent-up demand into bookings, we’re offering a 10% travel credit – fully funded by Booking.com – to EU travellers who book a stay by the end of August. We believe it’s our responsibility to catalyse a faster recovery and help rebuild our industry, and this investment aims to do just that by encouraging potential guests to start booking properties like yours. 

Paving the way for travel’s revival

The Welcome Back to Travel campaign will invite EU travellers to make a booking that will activate a 10% travel credit (up to €200) after their stay. The reward will be available to travellers via the Booking.com mobile app, applicable to bookings made up until 31 August 2021 with a check-in date up until 31 December 2021. The credit will be automatically deposited into the customer’s Booking.com account after check-out and will be redeemable against future trips at select properties for up to 12 months. 

Throughout the month of July, we’ll be launching multiple promotional activities across traditional and digital media – including television ads, email activations and social media campaigns – in selected markets to reach as many European bookers as possible. To be in the best position to capture the demand stimulated by the campaign, it’s important that your availability is up to date during this time. Other ways to increase your property’s appeal include activating a mobile rate, offering flexible policies and setting a domestic price through country rates. 

“This pandemic has taken a toll on so many aspects of our lives and society, including the travel industry and the myriad of businesses it comprises, and it’s been truly uplifting to see Europeans’ determination to move toward a better, brighter future for all,” says Glenn Fogel, CEO of Booking.com. “We know recovery will take time, and we know it will take the entire industry working together to get travel back on its feet, so we hope this 10% back in travel credits can be one small piece of support. With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, we’re introducing this initiative to help travellers to rediscover the places, people, cultures and experiences they have been missing, when the time is right. We encourage all those across the travel industry, from governments to businesses, to come together and implement solutions to support and revive the industry.”

EU COVID Certificate boosts Europeans’ travel sentiment

In response to the pandemic, EU countries showed a strong sense of solidarity by agreeing on a coordinated approach to the restriction of free movement across the region, including the adoption of a common framework for possible measures for travellers. While many Schengen countries have already reopened to varying degrees under the recommendations, the recently introduced EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) is forecast to further accelerate travel across the region this summer. 

Available as of 1 July, 2021, the EUDCC will verify travellers’ Coronavirus status – whether through a recent test result, vaccination or proof of recovery from the virus. The scheme aims to further break down barriers, allowing people to once again move freely and safely between all EU countries without being subject to extra testing or obligatory quarantine. This presents an opportunity to attract travellers celebrating their newfound freedom, with our travel reward incentivising them to book with you. 

New research by the European Travel Commission (ETC) reveals that the introduction of the certificate has been well received among Europeans, with 57% of survey respondents indicating a positive sentiment. This aligns with our own research that shows travel optimism goes hand in hand with health and safety considerations, with 69% of global travellers willing to provide a negative COVID-19 test before travelling, and 59% willing to download an app for COVID-19 tracing. 

Additionally, the ETC research revealed that European travellers have their sights set on summer, with 31% planning to travel during June and July and 41% during August and September. With behaviour on our platform echoing this sentiment – more than one-third of our searches are now for summer months – this season is set to be a promising one for our European partners.

 

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Welcome back, Europe

Discover how you can make your property even more appealing to EU travellers.

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Takeaway
  • At Booking.com, we see it as our responsibility to help catalyse a faster recovery and drive business to you, our partners
  • To help rebuild our industry, we are announcing a significant financial commitment to stimulate travel demand in Europe
  • From 1 July, we will offer a 10% travel credit (up to €200) to EU travellers who book by the end of August
  • The reward will be fully funded by Booking.com and available to travellers via the Booking.com mobile app