Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading superapp, has on Monday announced new in-app travel innovations and partnerships to give travellers a safe, seamless and hyperlocal experience as Southeast Asia embraces a travel comeback.

Grab said in a statement that international tourist visits to Southeast Asia saw a 1,706 percent increase in 2022 compared to the previous year, and Grab has also seen a steady rebound in traveller numbers, with rides to and from airports growing 3 times between January and December 2022.

“We want to be at the forefront of Southeast Asia’s travel revival, welcoming travellers back to the region with an enhanced Grab experience that is designed to help them travel with ease and peace of mind,” said Russell Cohen, Group Managing Director, Operations, Grab.

“No one knows Southeast Asia like we do, and our goal is not only to deliver the safest and most seamless mobility experience, but also encourage travellers to explore the richness of Southeast Asia like a local through our superapp offerings,” he added.

According to the statement, Southeast Asians love travelling within the region, and Grab data showed that more than half of all international travellers using Grab are from other Southeast Asian countries.

It is also noted that outside of Southeast Asia, top source markets for travellers using Grab include North America, Australia, China and South Korea.

Grab said its enhanced travel experience was designed to give all travellers the assurance and confidence to explore their destination by empowering them to plan ahead, get a smooth ride the moment they touch down, and experience their destination like a local.

New app enhancements include:

Traveller Homepage: Two-thirds of travellers who use Grab, download and register an account with Grab while still in their home country.

To help travellers better plan ahead for their trips, the new Traveller Homepage allows overseas travellers to explore a city within the Grab app as if they were at the destination.

Available for 33 of the top cities tourists visit in Southeast Asia, users can check out the Grab services present in the city, search and save places of interest such as their accommodation address and landmarks they intend to visit ahead of time, and even explore the food options near their destination.

The Grab app is also now available in Chinese, Korean and Japanese languages, to deliver a more intuitive experience for travellers from China, Korea and Japan, which are key markets for international tourists visiting Southeast Asia.

Translated merchant menus (ready by second half): To help travellers explore the best local flavours around them, Grab is working on translating merchant menus in key cities across Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand into English.

Additionally, to serve the wave of returning Chinese travellers, Grab will also provide Chinese menu transitions across key Indonesian cities.

A revamped Venues experience: For travellers, finding their way through a busy, unfamiliar airport to get to the right pick-up point and their ride can be a daunting experience.

With the latest version of Venues, travellers can look at images of each pick-up point prior to selecting the one they want, and get image-based turn-by-turn walking directions to guide them, even before they book their ride.

Available at all major airports in Southeast Asia, the Venues feature can also be used at over 4,000 locations such as malls, hotels, office buildings, parks and more across the region, including popular tourist attractions like the Singapore Zoo, the floating market in Pattaya, and the National Monument in Jakarta.

A currency converter feature (ready by second half): This feature will automatically display fares in travellers’ preferred local currency so that they don’t have to do manual conversions.

“We’re optimistic that the continued tourism recovery and reopening of China will be positive on the Southeast Asia economy overall, and we believe we have a strong value proposition to benefit from these trends as the regional superapp in Southeast Asia,

“Travellers spend on average 2 times more on transport per day compared to local users. We want to be their platform of choice; their preferred travel companion. We will continue to look for ways to deliver greater value to their travel journeys,” added Cohen.

Meanwhile, for travellers who may prefer not to download another app, Grab has also teamed up with some of the world’s most popular apps to provide travellers visiting Southeast Asia with options to access Grab’s ride-hailing services through platforms they already use and are familiar with.

WeChat, AliPay, Ctrip, Kakao T and users can access Grab’s ride-hailing services across Southeast Asia through these apps.

They’ll be able to select their pick-up and drop-off point, see the full range of vehicle types available locally, with the estimated fare displayed in their home currency. They can also pay via their preferred payment method in those apps.

From the second quarter, Uber users that open the app while in Southeast Asia, will also see a message directing them to Grab as Uber’s recommended way to travel in the region.

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