Concept: Sherpa, a travel-tech startup based in Toronto, has launched an interactive Travel Reopening Map to help travelers understand COVID-19-related restrictions and requirements. Travel companies such as airlines, cruise lines, and online travel agencies can reduce their customers’ hesitancy to book a trip, by allowing them to look for destinations open to travel, COVID-19 testing and quarantine rules for both outgoing and return routes.

Nature of Disruption: The Travel Reopening Map is a digital solution that bridges the information gap with real-time accuracy regarding COVID-19 policy status across geographies. Consumers can view the map directly from Sherpa’s website. IT is color-coded to spot destinations that are allowing visitors to find out a country’s summary of guidelines of COVID-19 test requirements, quarantine protocols, and entry restrictions. They can also search details by the name of the country or airport code, with personalization based on point of origin and date of travel. Sherpa processes millions of data points from many sources like governments, airlines, airports, tourism boards, public forums, and media outlets. The platform also provides a database of COVID-19 test sites. Moreover, travel companies can incorporate the Travel Reopening Map into their websites and apps using an API, embeddable widgets or a white-label web app. It allows the partner companies to increase booking conversions by directing customers from the map back to their flight destination pages. Travel Reopening Map supports multiple languages like English, Spanish (South American), French (Canadian), German, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Turkish and Latvian, with more languages in the pipeline.

Outlook: After the first wave of COVID-19, travel providers and customers are eager to start traveling as lockdown restriction eases in several parts of the world. However, amid the pandemic traveling is not as familiar to everyone as before due to the rapidly changing travel protocols. International travel is an important part of the global economy but traveling during a global pandemic can be challenging. To address this, Sherpa has launched a digital solution to help customers make accurate and informed decisions and travel confidently.

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