Group expands scope of 1 million surgical mask donation initiative

SHANGHAI, March 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Group, a worldwide leading online travel services provider, today announced a global initiative that will see the donation of 1 million surgical masks to support the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.

Led by the company's Co-founder and Chairman of the Board James Liang, the initiative has seen the delivery and allocation of surgical mask supplies to various countries, including Italy, Korea, Japan, the US, Canada, Germany, Serbia, France, UK and Australia.

Liang says the company hopes that the donation will play a role in bringing countries together in a collective effort to contain the virus. "Many ways, to join one journey. Many origins, to reach one destiny. Many friends, to form one family. Many endeavors, to win one victory," said Group Chairman James Liang. "It is crucial at this moment in the global fight against the epidemic that all countries come together and support each other, to secure a victory for humanity."

"Going forward, we'll take this challenge in our stride, and lead the travel industry to flourish once again," said Jane Sun, CEO of Group. "Let's continue to work together, to beat this challenge, and towards an exciting next step for the travel industry."

The move to donate masks is the latest in a series of actions taken by the online travel services provider to minimize impact, and beat the epidemic.

In late January, the company responded to the initial outbreak in China by extending cancellation provisions for customers affected by travel bans and medical conditions. As the situation continues to develop, the company has provided daily updates on travel restrictions via its platforms, and extended the scope of its cancellation policies to include medical workers as well as those unable to travel due to restrictions and infection. The company also led a Safeguard Cancellation Guarantee industry initiative, which brought together hotels and airlines to ensure that its 400 million users worldwide have peace of mind in booking with Group platforms.

Recipients expressed gratitude for the donation, and shared the company's sentiment of uniting nations to overcome the present challenge.

"We are moved by this warm and generous gesture, and impressed by your efforts throughout the epidemic. We look forward to working together more closely to welcome our friends in China and across the world to Italy, and hope for a speedy victory for the world in containing the epidemic," said Italian Consul General in Shanghai, China Michele Cecchi.

"Your thoughts and friendship are highly appreciated at this challenging time," said Serbian Consul General in Shanghai, China Dejan Marinkovi?.

"Thank you for your kind gesture. I look forward to continuing to work together, both to overcome this challenge, and into the future," said French Ambassador to China Laurent Bili.

"We are very grateful for this generous donation from Group. We will be sending these masks to frontline staff in the U.K. fighting the Coronavirus. As we face this global pandemic, acts like this remind us of the close ties of friendship between the U.K. and China. We hope in the months to come to continue our partnership with Group in further deepening and broadening those ties," said Deputy International Trade Commissioner at the British Embassy in China John Edwards.

About Group: Group is a leading one-stop travel service provider comprising of, Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Qunar. Across its platforms, Group enables local partners and travelers around the world to make informed and cost-effective bookings for travel products and services, through the aggregation of comprehensive travel related information and resources, and an advanced transaction platform consisting of mobile apps, Internet websites and 24/7 customer service centers. Founded in 1999 and listed on NASDAQ in 2003, Group has become one of the best-known travel brands in the world, with the mission of 'making every trip the perfect trip'.

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