Ctrip, UNDP partner to improve global SOS emergency response for travelers
China's largest online travel agency Ctrip has teamed up with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other partners to upgrade its worldwide travel emergency support services.
The Global SOS system will leverage Ctrip's expanding presence of local professional guides and connections with related institutions to offer tourists around-the-clock online customer services with responses within about two minutes, the company announced Wednesday.
Users can ask for support with just one click on Ctrip's app in cases of major natural disasters, and seek other forms of assistance including local medical services, translation and retrieval of lost items.
In operation for about two years, the system has received over 14,000 aid calls from more than 100 global destinations. About 97.9 percent of the cases were well handled, Ctrip data showed.
China has seen a boom in overseas tourism in recent years. About 150 million outbound trips were made in 2018, up 14.7 percent year on year. Overseas trips are expected to grow about 10 percent annually in the next five years, according to the China Tourism Academy (CTA).
Ctrip, the UNDP, CTA and the China Center for International Economic Exchanges jointly launched an initiative last September to promote safe and responsible travel.
The four parties also unveiled a handbook on global travel safety Wednesday, which features safety-related tips from professional guides from 64 countries across the world.