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With Technology through the Pandemic

March 8, 2022 Group CEO Jane Sun encourages women: “Be optimistic”

At the start of the C Level interview “Global Trends in Travel & Technology: Learnings from Asia”, Jane Sun, CEO of the largest Chinese travel company, Group, encouraged women to enter the travel industry. On the occasion of World Women’s Day, responding to the question of what advice she would offer young women seeking career success, she named four criteria: integrity, optimism, curiosity and conscientiousness. “Be optimistic! We would not have made it through the pandemic without optimism”, according to Jane Sun. But of course, modern technology, including artificial intelligence, also played a major role.

One example of the use of technology that Sun referred to was the immediate refunding of advance payments totalling 36 billion dollars to travellers who had already booked their trips for the Chinese New Year celebrations prior to the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic but were unable to make their journeys because of lockdown. The process of granting ten billion dollars of credit to small and medium-sized enterprises, which had suffered most from the effects of the pandemic, was also speeded up and simplified. Moreover, digitalisation enabled to rapidly implement flexible short-time working and home office models.

The advantages of wide-ranging digitalisation are one of the most important lessons to have come out of the coronavirus crisis. This has been evident, for example, in the introduction of robots in many areas of the service sector and in data mining as part of the collaboration between airlines and hotels, enabling them to stay constantly informed about the current status of their guests.

According to Sun, other lessons learned as a result of the crisis included shorter reservation windows, the introduction of higher hygiene standards and the preference given to smaller groups in order to reduce the risk of infection. Sun was herself very optimistic about the industry’s prospects of a quick recovery from the pandemic: “One country after another is opening up again, and customer demand is very high.”