“In other words, artificial intelligence won’t just help you land the lowest rate for a hotel or assist with airline reservations. It can also provide inspiration for just what kind of trip experience you want.” Terry Jones, Co-Founder of Wayblazer
AUSTIN, Texas (PRWEB) October 13, 2017
WayBlazer Inc. is revolutionizing the travel industry with an artificial intelligence platform that enables travel companies to personalize their online inventory offerings for every traveler.
“Online travel planning can be time consuming and impersonal,” says Terry Jones, chairman of WayBlazer Inc. (http://www.wayblazer.ai), which provides machine-learning technologies to travel companies of all types. “Studies show that travelers on average search 140 travel sites 45 days before booking. And that’s not just bad for travelers. Hotels, vacation-packaging groups and other travel-industry companies are losing potential customers due to an unengaging digital experience that doesn’t convert.”
But add artificial intelligence – or AI – to that search, and things change, says Jones, who also founded Travelocity. Artificial intelligence is essentially a computer system that can perform tasks that normally would require a human, such as voice recognition, visual perception and decision making.
Bringing AI into travel planning means those searches won’t just pick up random key words. AI can understand the kind of experience a traveler is searching for and find the most contextually relevant results.
“In other words, artificial intelligence won’t just help you land the lowest rate for a hotel or assist with airline reservations,” Jones says. “It can also provide inspiration for just what kind of trip experience you want.”
Here’s how WayBlazer makes use of artificial intelligence: WayBlazer partners with hotel brands, travel technology providers, and airline vacation packaging groups. The company’s platform is powered by a travel “recommendation engine” that enables suppliers to offer a dialogue-driven experience and merchandise their inventory in a personalized manner for each travel shopper.
“The AI-driven digital experience is the beginning of a trend we’re seeing across all travel companies,” Jones says. “Brands are looking to quickly ramp up and they need a technology provider that they can trust.”
There are plenty of examples of how artificial intelligence will transform the travel-planning process for both the brands and the travelers, Jones says. Here are a few:
- Machines can learn. Over time machine learning detects patterns in the data it collects and makes adjustments in its “knowledge.” So every time a traveler searches, the WayBlazer system gets a little smarter. “The result,” Jones says, “is a recommendation engine that understands travel like an expert, factoring in both context and search intent to the results a traveler gets.”
- Relevant images and reviews. Machine vision can “look” at a photograph and match it to what you’re searching for. For example, a traveler searching for an anniversary trip should be seeing images and reviews of romance: whether its couples on the beach or enjoying a candlelight dinner. Showing the right evidence dramatically improves engagement and user experience.
- AI is conversational. Online searches typically involve keywords that need to match words on websites. However, with natural language searches, travelers don’t have to type the exact right words to get their desired results. Natural language search, especially when searching for multi-faceted trip experiences, gives travelers much more flexibility when searching through a brand’s products. And travel agents are also able to rely on AI to give their customers better service and do it faster.
Jones says the travel industry hasn’t always kept pace with technological advances. Part of the reason may be because of the avalanche of unstructured data and user generated content, such as images, reviews, and videos. But companies have a huge opportunity to leverage that data intelligently with the right technology, and that’s what WayBlazer is now providing.
“A lot of brands are figuring out that customers want a better digital experience in the planning stage – and the vacation-inspiration stage – and they can help travelers,” he says. “If they can do that, and provide a more personalized experience every step of the way, then those customers are going to be loyal to that brand.”
WayBlazer is a B2B company that builds artificial intelligence technology for the travel industry. The company’s platform enables travel brands to deliver contextually relevant, personalized product and destination recommendations as well as dialogue-driven search experiences to increase online engagement and conversion. From discovery to booking, WayBlazer creates a next-generation digital experience.
WayBlazer is founded by travel and tech entrepreneurs Terry Jones, Founder of Travelocity/Founding Chairman of Kayak.com and Manoj Saxena, former GM of IBM Watson.
About Terry Jones
Terry Jones, is the Founder and chairman of WayBlazer (http://www.wayblazer.ai), a travel technology company. He also is the Founder of Travelocity.com and Founding Chairman of Kayak.com. WayBlazer provides machine-learning technologies to travel companies to help travelers find the best products more quickly and improve shopper conversion.