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HANDS-ON APPROACH: Jonas brother cast in Expedia campaign

A new survey from Expedia reveals around 30 percent of Canadians find that the stress of travelling is eased with a helping hand from someone. With this in mind, the OTA has launched a “helping hands” campaign in which it is giving away a unique piece of artwork: Joe Jonas’s hand.

The decorated replicas of the popular American singer-songwriter-actor’s appendage – 150 in total – are available on a first-come-first-served basis (enter at helpinghand.expedia.ca, no purchase required), but the campaign on a broader scale is designed to symbolize the “support and reassurance Expedia aims to bring to travellers” as it continues to emphasize its to new commitment to being “the ultimate travel companion.”

“It’s going to take time for travellers to adjust to a post-pandemic life and the new norms that this may entail – we want to make sure we are there for them, every step of the way,” says Nisreene Atassi, Sr. Director and Global Head of Communications for Expedia Brand. “Providing a helping hand to travellers is our mission, whether it’s a physical hand to hold for added comfort, or the act of arming them with all the information they need to confidently plan their next trip.”

As part of the campaign, Expedia is also lending a helping hand to Mercy Corps, donating US$100,000 to the global humanitarian organization to aid in providing emergency supplies, food, clean water, and support to communities facing the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The limited-edition Jonas hand was created using a 3D printer and stereolithography technology with every hand individually painted with custom artwork, then numbered and signed.

Travel Companions Report

The Helping Hands campaign is based on Expedia’s just-released Travel Companion Report, which, despite vaccination rollouts gaining momentum around the world, says more than 60% of Canadian adults feel stressed at the thought of booking international trips and 28% say they need a helping hand when travelling.

And 34% says they have been so overwhelmed by planning their next trip that they have put off hitting “book” at least three times and are estimating more than nine hours to plan a trip.

Pre-trip, survey respondents noted the importance of:

• Getting help understanding travel restrictions and guidelines (46%)
• Having access to information about whether a destination requires vaccinations or testing (59%)
• Easily being able to check the policies of bookings (41%)
• And, looking for inspiration on where to go when it’s safe (24%)

In-trip, reducing stress and anxiety is also a factor. Some of the ways travellers typically combat anxiety, according to the report, include:

• Listening to music (64%)
• Asking for a helping hand from a fellow traveller (28%)
• Reading (38%)
• Meditating (25%)
• Watching a movie (48%)

Meanwhile, the majority survey respondents (69%) agreed that, even before the pandemic, they were grateful for their vacation “helping hands” – the travel companions that guided them to create the best trip possible. When asked which helping hands they missed most, respondents ranked their go-to travel app the highest, followed by the drivers, the tour guide, the hotel concierge, and the hotel front desk staff.

Expedia’s Travel Companions report was launched to discover attitudes to travel in 2021. OnePoll surveyed 2000 adult respondents in Canada, who have been on holiday as an adult. Dates of survey were April 1 to 13, 2021.

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First published at Travel Industry Today

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