Posts tagged with "Expedia"

Travel illustration by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 Magazine

3 Ways Technology Will Change How We Book Travel

The travel and hospitality sectors are in the midst of a massive technological transformation that will affect how you book travel and stay at hotels moving forward. Tech savvy customers will come to expect the convenience that artificial intelligence brings. This vision is what I like to call ‘high-tech automation with high-touch personalization and customization.’

Here are three mega-trends leading the way toward realizing this vision:

Artificial Intelligence Will Personalize Your Travel Booking Experience 

Online travel agencies (i.e. Expedia, Booking, or my company HotelPlanner) are working toward becoming smarter, more seamless and more personalized and customized than ever before. Access to increasing amounts of data is transforming the customer experience for online booking, allowing for smarter search functionality and better tailored results for each unique customer.

As for the top customer concerns of price and flexibility, the solutions brought by AI can lead to enhanced hotel inventory connectivity to deliver better price accuracy and more real-time options to fit any budget.

For example, the hotel booking engines of the future will already know you want a hotel with a good gym or pool, that’s pet friendly or eco-friendly, or has some other amenity, feature, or price point that’s important to you.

Voice-Enabled Services Will Grow With the Rise of the ‘Internet of Things’

AI-driven advancements in natural language recognition are making voice search the industry’s next big trend. Voice activation will continue to expand with the rise of the Internet of Things and smart homes, smart cars and smart offices.

For example, at the height of the pandemic, my company launched what we believe is the next generation of call center customer service:  a 24/7 global gig-economy based call center connected to customers through AI-enabled VOIP. This voice-enabled technology allows us to connect the right customer with the right agent to provide personalized service, and to convert more sales of course.

And now you can even use Alexa to make a hotel reservation. (Give it a try and please email your feedback to feedback@hotelplanner.com).

Big Data & Predictive Analytics Will Know You Better Than You Know Yourself

Data is king, but only if you know how to interpret the data in real-time for ‘actionable intelligence’ as they say in the military. Travel technology firms and hotels will employ predictive data analytics and advanced machine learning solutions to anticipate and then deliver more bespoke services based on each customers’ unique needs and wants.

For example, at hotels this might include contactless check-ins, Alexa devices in your hotel room, or perhaps the hotel gym’s personal trainer offers you a free session since the hotel already knows that health & fitness is important to you.

For online travel agencies, they will focus on a more personalized user experience to engender your customer trust and loyalty. So when you go to search for a hotel, the site already knows exactly the type of hotel you want based on previous bookings or your unique digital footprint.

These are just a few examples of how technology is rapidly evolving to meet the current and future needs of travelers who are now expecting a more tech-savvy and personalized experience.

Written by John Price, Co-Found and CIO, HotelPlanner

 

John Price headshot via Christine Lenzo for use by 360 MAGAZINE

14 MINIMALIST TRAVEL POSTERS

Minimalism is all the rage at the moment thanks to writers like Fumio Sasaki, so why not apply that approach when planning your next vacation? There’s so much information out there that it can seem overwhelming when you start researching places to go, with so many offers, travel guides, blogs, photos, videos, podcasts and all the rest. Sometimes you just need to drown out the noise and focus on what’s important.

That’s why Expedia has created these minimalist travel posters to help you see the essential elements on 14 of the top vacation destinations in the world. They’ve picked out the most important aspects of each destination, namely where you should go first, what food you should eat and where you can get that one stunning and shareable photo for your Instagram or Facebook page.

If you go to Berlin, for example, a whistlestop tour using these posters would take you to the aptly-named Panoramapunkt for a panoramic view of the TV Tower, followed by a trip to the past at the historic Brandenburg Gate. For food options, currywurst is a spicy taste of Berlin life and culture, while you can finish your stay with an energetic and symbolic bike ride down the Mauerweg, which follows the route of the old Berlin Wall.

Swapping Germany for South Africa, Cape Town has plenty to offer, even in the snapshot form of a minimalist visit. Speaking of snapshots, Bloubergstrand is the place to go to get that iconic photo of Table Mountain while you’ll also want to keep your camera to hand when you’re at Boulders Beach so you can get a shot of the penguins. Yes, there really are penguins there. The Neighbourgoods Market in Woodstock is a good place to get souvenirs, while the recommended dish of the trip is potjiekos, a traditional meat stew.

As you’ll have seen from these two examples, there’s so much you can fit into even a minimalist travel poster if the destination is as exciting as Berlin or Cape Town. Others getting the minimalist treatment include Havana, London, Paris and even the Serengeti and Siam Reap, the Cambodian home of 800-year-old temple Angkor Wat. You can probably guess what the iconic photo from that trip would be.

So check out all 14 of these minimalist travel posters from Expedia and see which of the legendary destinations captures your imagination. Given that you can take in all the sights in just one day, you could even do a tour…

 

Dominican Republic 

What’s new in Dominican Republic:

  • Dominican Republic Jazz Festival Releases Lineup | The 21st annual celebration will unite a diverse lineup featuring Dominican native and renown Fefita la Grande, William Cepeda of Puerto Rico, American musicians Brian Linch, Sean Jones and more. The free festival presented by FEDUJAZZ and Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism begins in Santo Domingo on October 29, and continues from November 1 – 5 traveling to Plaza España, Santo Domingo; Centro León, Santiago; Amphitheatre Hotel Casa Marina, Sosúa; Independence Park, Puerto Plata; and Caberete Beach.
  • La Romana Golf Club Opens | Located in Dominican Republic’s east coast with a picturesque Caribbean backdrop on four holes, the newly inaugurated golf club features an 18-hole championship course, driving range, restaurant, bar and boutique located within the Bahia Principe Luxury Resort. This opening designed by Maverick Design & Construction, with Grupo Piñero further solidifies Dominican Republic as the golf capital of the Caribbean.  
  • Play Ball, Dominican Republic Baseball Returns | The 2017 – 2018 Winter Baseball season is off to a strong start and Dominican Republic’s five stadiums, specifically Santo Domingo’s Quisqueya Stadium renovated in advance of the season opener, are prepared for the 50-game calendar term. Baseball is one of Dominican Republic’s most beloved sports and is a key tourism driver during Dominican baseball season, which runs October-January.   
  • Leading Dominican Republic Hotel Group Announced Partnership with Expedia | Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts of Grupo Piñero this week revealed a new package booking available through the resorts website, the luxury resort boasts 26 properties across the Dominican Republic and surrounding Caribbean islands. This ease of use feature effective immediately will drive demand and revenue to the Dominican Republic tourism sector, in advance of the country’s winter travel season.