Expedia Group has introduced a consumer-facing tool that tracks current travel restrictions around the world, which it has named the Covid-19 Travel Advisor.
The tool is powered by Sherpa, a company that specializes in travel identification requirements. Sherpa also has a Covid-19-related product that provides data on testing and quarantine requirements.
The Covid-19 Advisor is available on Expedia Group brands Expedia, Hotels.com, ebookers, Orbitz, Travelocity, Vrbo and Wotif. Users input the country they are traveling from, the country they are traveling to and their departure date; the tool then returns information on restrictions, quarantine requirements and necessary health documents for both their destination country and their home country upon return.
Expedia Group has piloted the tool since last winter, and more than 1.6 travelers have used it. The Covid-19 Advisor has sent around 13 million pieces of communication to travelers using email, push notifications and SMS.
Expedia said it hopes the tool will help restore traveler confidence. Evidence points to increased demand: The OTA giant said in March there were more than 1.7 million clicks across its core brand, a 97% increase over February.
"Our goal is to reduce friction for travelers, and also further support our travel partners across lodging, air, car and cruise by removing the time-heavy task of managing individual traveler queries about restrictions and travel requirements for each destination," Cyril Ranque, president of the Travel Partners Group at Expedia Group, said in a statement. "It's another step in the right direction of connecting the right supply with the right demand, at the right time."