BEIJING, Sept. 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ctrip, the largest online travel agent in Asia and the second largest in the world, announced an initiative to promote safe and responsible travel. Ctrip, The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICETE) and China Tourism Academy (CTA) today jointly announced the launch of the "Safe and Responsible Travel Initiative” in Beijing. The formation of this travel safety alliance sets to highlight sustainable travel, enhance security support, develop travel industry protocols for emergency situations and minimize travel risks for all travelers. 

“Safe Travel” Initiative for Chinese Travelers

With the increasing number of Chinese outbound travelers, overseas security has become an important issue for all stakeholders.

Chinese made more than 130 million outbound trips in 2017 and are, for many countries, their largest source of inbound visitors. Since 2017, there have been more than 10 natural disasters and emergencies around the world that required swift responses. Whether it was the Phuket ferry crash, the Lombok earthquake or the Bali volcano eruption, an emergency mechanism is needed to ensure the safety of all travelers.

Agi Veres, Country Director of UNDP China, Zhang Yi, the Deputy Director of CICETE, Li Zhongguang, Vice President of CTA and Jane Sun, CEO of Ctrip, announced a joint initiative to implement “Safe Travel” for Chinese tourists.  

Preventing security risks and establishing emergency rescue mechanisms to ensure the safety of travelers is a top priority for Ctrip. Jane Sun, CEO of Ctrip, said, “Ctrip serves hundreds of millions of travelers every year and through cooperation with UNDP, we are able to connect with more countries, people and institutions to create a working platform for the learning and sharing of security knowledge, skills and safety.”

Agi Veres, Country Director of UNDP China, said, “We have been making full use of our global network and development experiences to support countries to develop solutions to address challenges related to poverty alleviation, good governance and more. The launch of this project has given UNDP new insights into areas such as disaster risk management.”

The project was also recognized by Zhang Yi, the Deputy Director of CICETE. “We hope that through our joint efforts, our cooperation can become a model where public and private sectors can make great contributions to social innovation and public welfare.”

"Safe and responsible travel have always been important research topics for China Tourism Academy. We will continue to promote innovative research and contribute to developing such services for the travel industry,” said Li Zhongguang, Vice President of CTA.

The “Safe and Responsible Travel Initiative” not only educates travelers about the importance of responsible and safe travel but also will provide humanitarian assistance if needed during their overseas journey. Consensuses in four key areas have been reached by all participating partners including: combining innovation and technology to establish a security alliance allowing the coordination of international humanitarian relief; helping raise public awareness of green, safe and responsible travel; and reducing negative impacts that come with travel.

As the world’s first online travel company to provide emergency response services for travelers, Ctrip has already been implementing safe travels through its International SOS program. In addition to a Ctrip natural disaster security travel fund where travelers are reimbursed for any losses encountered during their trip, the International SOS service is an additional support mechanism to deal with emergency situations.

Responsible Travel Initiative

According to our recent research, five million bars of soap are thrown away every day. Since the early 1990s, hotels in China have been providing customers with disposable soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shower gel, slippers and combs. According to statistics, in 2017 around 440,000 hotels in China served more than 4.8 billion travelers leading to more than 400,000 tons of soap being discarded in one year alone.

As an important component of the “Responsible Travel” initiative, “Travel More – Impact Less” highlights the importance of environmental protection and the need to reduce the usage and wastage of disposable hotel amenities. This includes giving away environmentally friendly and biodegradable travel products such as reusable foldable slippers, water cups and soap boxes. These amenities aim to encourage travelers to leave behind positive footprints during their travels and also support poverty alleviation projects, with the embroideries on the slippers coming from ethnic minority women supported by UNDP.

As the first hotel group to participate in this initiative, Langham Hospitality Group will actively support and promote the initiative across its hotels in China. “We want to encourage our guests to join us in developing effective modes of sustainable travel. Through this initiative, we want to prove that luxury hotels can be sustainable too,” says Carmen Ng, Director of Sustainability, Langham Hospitality Group.

Jane Sun, CEO of Ctrip, said, “Ctrip is delighted to join forces with Langham Hospitality Group and many more partners in the travel industry to protect our environment and to minimize wastage in the travel industry. Raising such awareness amongst travelers is crucial since travel needs to be green, sustainable and responsible. Ctrip attaches great importance to environmental education and protection.” 

Agi Veres, Country Director of UNDP China, said, “Companies have the capacity and the incentive to be a powerful driving force in achieving the sustainable development goals.”

Guided by the concept of giving back to society, Ctrip has been at the forefront of fulfilling social responsibilities ranging from launching a “Ctrip Forest” in Alxa where it has planted more than 630,000 seedlings since 2008, to launching low-carbon travel programs and establishing 100 travel itineraries throughout nearly 20 provinces in China that are part of the national poverty alleviation strategy.

About International, Ltd. International, Ltd. is a leading travel service provider of accommodation reservation, transportation ticketing, packaged tours and corporate travel management in China. It is the largest online consolidator of accommodations and transportation tickets in China in terms of transaction volume. Ctrip enables business and leisure travelers to make informed and cost-effective bookings by aggregating comprehensive travel related information and offering its services through an advanced transaction and service platform consisting of its mobile apps, Internet websites and centralized, toll-free, 24-hour customer service center. Ctrip also helps customers book vacation packages and guided tours. In addition, through its corporate travel management services, Ctrip helps corporate clients effectively manage their travel requirements. Since its inception in 1999, Ctrip has experienced substantial growth and become one of the best-known travel brands in China.

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at: