Travel Chatbot: the Revolution of Tourism and Transport Sectors

8th JAN 2019 | Disponible en Español
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A few months ago Trivago published an interesting article on Chatbot technology applied to the travel world. In "Chatbots: Making the Future of Travel a Social Experience" Tom Ollerton highlights factors such as the way a trip is chosen, how is booked, and lived. This has changed completely compared to a few years ago. It seems like a remote past when the tourists were walking around with maps, asking for information to the locals and went to travel agencies.

Now it's time for travel chatbots.

In a world where everything is online and users are increasingly connected, it is not possible for companies in the tourism and transport sector to stay out of this slice of the market that offers enormous possibilities. Therefore the difference lies not in what is sold, but in how it is sold. Companies are all trying to change the user's interaction and purchase experience.

The reason why chatbots are increasingly successful so quickly is due to the fact that social media was initially used to increase the engagement, enthusiasm, and attachment to a brand. However chatbots are never included in the sales system, they have always had the function of advertising products and services.

The chatbots instead can perform this function and become a tool to finalize the purchase. An example? Skyscanner's Messenger bot: launched in 2017, this virtual assistant remains successful. Looking for flights has never been so simple.

Public transport companies become digital

People who use public transportation are among the users who have been taken into greater consideration by software programmers. Many apps have been developed by city transport services in recent years; these tools allow citizens to know the route of urban and non-urban lines, bus and train arrival times in real time, buy tickets or change them, consult any service suspensions, and breakdowns. Initially they were very successful because they actually solved a lot of problems to those who use public transport.

Meanwhile, social platforms were used as support tools; the timelines of the transport companies were invaded by messages and in a subsequent step the users began to use private messages to receive information.

Nowadays, even these companies are beginning to invest in tools such as chatbots to offer a better service to their customers. For example, Moovit, a giant in the mobility sector, launched its chatbot on the Messenger platform.

moovit messenger bot

And in the tourism sector? How are new technologies applied?

Chatbots are also used in the tourism sector; thanks to the opening of Messenger platform to chatbots, companies have had the opportunity to study new ways of interacting with users.

Considering that today our attention is captured by an increasing number of visual materials that try to promote different types of products. It is easy to understand that this tool is a winning resource since it is able to interact with every single user in a conversational form.

Digital campaigns can be carried out at no cost that intercept exactly every single person, or it is possible to offer a customer care service always active in any place.

Many companies have adopted these new technologies for these purposes, but some have gone even further, making these solutions not just a plus but an irreplaceable marketing element.

Let's see some examples.

Skyscanner: an example to follow

By setting the place of departure, arrival and dates, the chatbot is able to provide a series of relevant results that users can evaluate and make their choice of purchase. The conversational interface makes the search and selection operation so much easier for users; in this way, many steps that constituted as critical points in the customer experience are overcome.

skyscanner messenger bot

Also Expedia has developed its chatbot

Also the giant of the world travel, Expedia, has developed its chatbot on Messenger. Users can search for hotels, compare offers and book directly from the bot without having to access to the app or website.
This operation was possible even before a bot. But, in the coming of the holidays the company decided to invest in tools that make this kind of operation as pleasant as possible, trying to eliminate the steps that users had to do to make a purchase.

Cheapflights: as if you were booking a travel with a friend

This English company, leader in the search for flights and stays more advantageous for users, has developed a chatbot with the same purpose of the two competitors mentioned above: users can do research, evaluate proposals and finally buy everything through this tool.
What distinguishes this chatbot from others? A simple but very important detail: the way in which the chatbot relates to the individual user. The chatbot developed by Cheapflights is very informal and tries to interact demonstrating its honesty to the user, suggesting the most advantageous and, at the same time, more suitable trips in terms of climate, landscapes, food, etc.

Basically, the company has focused on the development of an assistant who behaves similarly to a friend, who suggests in all sincerity where you should go and why, all accompanied by jokes and emojis.

And you? Have you ever thought about implementing a chatbot for your business?
Book a call with our experts or request a guided demo here.

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