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25 Jan 2019

BY Andrew Doherty


Travel industry ‘slow’ to capitalise on popularity of voice technology

Almost three-quarters (73%) of travel professionals are unprepared to take advantage of voice tech, according to a December poll of 143 industry leaders conducted by Travel Technology Europe (TTE).

Technology, devices iStock-612406450

Findings from Travelport’s 2018 Global Digital Traveller Research also showed that 36% of UK leisure travellers use voice search to research travel, with 20% of Google searches made via voice.


TTE poll results found that 28% of 143 respondents are “not really prepared” for the growing popularity of voice; 19% were “not at all prepared”; and 27% said that voice was “not something they were preparing for”.


David Chapple, Travel Technology Europe group event director, said: “The potential of voice within travel is something that industry innovators have been keen to capitalise on over the last few years as the technology has developed; largely thanks to its ability to personalise search, provide information in real time and ultimately boost the whole customer lifecycle experience.


“Voice enables travellers to interact with OTAs, booking engines and comparison sites naturally, instinctively and quickly – enhancing both the relevancy, enjoyment and satisfaction of the overall experience. To stay on top of the competition, travel brands need to embrace the opportunities that voice technology can bring and ensure they are ready.”


David Low, principal product manager, Skyscanner, who will be speaking at Travel Technology Europe next month, said: We predicted the importance of voice within mainstream intelligent technology back in 2014 ahead of our Amazon Echo Skyscanner integration.


“While it’s surprising to see such a large percentage of the industry is still a long way off when it comes to their preparedness for voice, it’s encouraging to find that recognition of its importance is growing and that budgets are being put towards it.”


Visitors to TTE, taking place at Olympia London on February 20-21, can hear more from Skyscanner and how they successfully implemented their booking technology using Amazon’s voice assistant; as well as other industry experts on travel technologies from AI and Machine Learning to the ‘Internet of Things’.


The “Alexa: Book me a Holiday” session takes place at 15:00 on February 20.


To find out more about this and to view the full conference programme, visit www.traveltechnologyeurope.co.uk, where you can also register for free tickets to the show.

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