Tripadvisor launches service with bigger discounts on hotels and flights

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Health and Science

As more Americans get vaccinations and states lift Covid-19 restrictions, Tripadvisor announced on Wednesday the launch of Tripadvisor Plus, a travel subscription service that gives U.S. customers access to savings and other perks. The service costs $ 99 per year.

U.S. airlines have already seen a surge in flight bookings for the summer, and the Transportation Security Administration recently screened more than 2 million people at U.S. airports, most since the Covid pandemic started early last year.

The increasing demand for travel also leads to higher fares. Tripadvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer attributed the trend to the industry’s struggle to hire workers fast enough to keep pace with the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

“There is a small mismatch between supply and demand as the hotel industry bounces back and tries to hire more people to deliver the great experience that hotels and the travel community are known for,” said Kaufer in one Interview on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street”.

Travelers should also expect service across the industry may not be as good as usual and there will likely be long waits, especially at airports, Kaufer said.

“Be patient with your vacation, the queues at airports will be a little longer, I’m worried,” he said. “Some of the service in some properties is not quite as expected, but the entire industry is really recovering.”

The company has seen an increase in travel bookings abroad, but travelers are reluctant to reserve travel to countries where there is still uncertainty about travel restrictions. Tripadvisor expects bookings to pick up as these countries relax Covid restrictions on vaccinated Americans, Kaufer said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of Americans have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine and the number of new coronvirus infections is falling every day.

In a recent survey commissioned by data provider Cirium, 78% of respondents said they will travel this year, with around 40% planning to travel this summer. From May 11th to 17th, 2,140 adults were interviewed for the survey.

Tripadvisor’s new subscription service includes discounts on many tickets, tours and attractions as well as personalized travel tips and discounted stays at more than 100,000 hotels around the world, the company said. The company estimates the service will save members an average of $ 350 per stay, which means some members can get their annual fee back on their first trip.

Customers who sign up for the service also receive Hertz Five Star Elite status for one year, which allows them to skip the counter, earn points for free rentals, access upgrades and get priority service at many airports . The subscription will also waive the fee for young renters and provide free child car seats to subscribers.

Subscription services are popular with businesses to build customer loyalty and drive business. Hopefully, once visitors to the site have signed up for the service, they will likely use Tripadvisor more often to book their trip.

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