Welcome to the World is a new global travel and tourism initiative which promotes direct bookings by bypassing commission-driven aggregators. The website launched in Dubai this week showcases the most popular hotels, restaurants, attractions, and experiences of 175 global tourism hotspots.
By the Levant News Newsdesk
Welcome to the World is a video platform unique in its kind. It launched a revolutionary new approach towards the standard travel and leisure booking norms by giving buyers the opportunity to a direct booking option. The new method supports local businesses heavily affected by the global coronacrisis.
“This is an initiative borne out of the need to spur global travel and tourism resilience in the wake of the near-critical industry slow-down caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Stefanie Schachtschabel, Founder & CEO of the platform.
"We provide travel and tourism buyers with a purchasing alternative that enables them to support local businesses via the platform’s 'direct book' functionality. The platform will create more value for tourism sector stakeholders by eliminating over-reliance on commission-heavy online travel agencies and accommodation aggregators,” Schachtschabel added.
Free of charge
Travel and tourism operators can create their online merchant profiles via a free-of-charge option or a fixed yearly fee leveraging content revitalization features. Individual users can create complimentary personal accounts to unlock welcoming benefits.
“Merchants can pay a fee as part of an integrated Marketing as a Service package. We believe this creates a huge net saving on commission charges incurred on other booking aggregator sites. We are ready to work with operators to curate and create video content that populates their profiles and drives revenue,” said Schachtschabel.
The platform’s video content proposition gives users a comprehensive overview of each destination’s best options in six segmented categories - Sleep, Eat, Do, Discover, Socialize and Shop - and allows them to click through and book direct at merchant-owned booking portals.
Schachtschabel emphasized that Dubai is a logical choice to launch the website: “Dubai has a strong reputation of tourism invention and reinvention in close public-private sector collaboration, which ideally fits our ethos."
Support from the tourism sector
The site has already won support from various hotel groups globally, which see the platform as a reboot mechanism for marketing efforts across the hospitality sector. “We were quick to seize the opportunity of supporting the initiative, which will serve as a new benchmark in global tourism recovery,” said Jeroen Elmendorp, General Manager, Ritz-Carlton, Dubai.
Merchants will also benefit from crucial customer data insights, with the platform able to better decide on future products and refine offerings. “While we are breaking the mold on booking norms, we are enhancing opportunities for suppliers and buyers. Good news as we look to revitalize the sectors following the seismic impact of the pandemic,” concluded Schachtschabel.