December 13, 2017

Expedia tips voice as the biggest disrupter in travel

Expedia predicts that voice will trump over chatbots and artificial intelligence as the biggest disrupter in travel in the near term.

The company, which said it spends some US$1.3 billion a year on technology, demonstrated the use of its voice-activated hotel booking app, Alexa, at the Expedia Partner Conference last week, showing how a customer can use voice to search, book, pay for a hotel booking, check-in and access the room key from the home screen of the app.

Arthur Chapin, Expedia’s senior vice president, global product & design, said the company is piloting the product in three properties in Denmark before rolling it out to partners in a couple of years.

Expedia’s CEO Mark Okerstrom, when asked by TTG Asia what will be the biggest disrupter and how he is prioritising technological innovations, said: “Voice is incredibly interesting.”

“The initial idea with mobile was that everyone’s going to take their desktop experience and put it on a mobile device, but we quickly learnt having a super computer (i.e. mobile) with you all the time changed things – 50-70 per cent of our mobile bookings came on the same day or next day and before we knew, we were able to target customers with offerings (such as) in-destination activities.

Get the full story at TTG Asia