Travellers want help from chatbots

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Humley, a company that creates artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots for use by the travel industry, recently polled 1,000 Americans and found that a majority of respondents would happily make use of these chatbots to improve the online travel experience. Over three-quarters of those surveyed said that they would happily ‘lean heavily’ on chatbots to help them simplify their travel arrangements, streamline business procedures, organise trips and serve as online concierges.

A majority of travellers appear to be using online channels to book their travel now, rather than traditional methods such as airport counters; according to Humley, 84 per cent of survey respondents use services such as Expedia or Kayak when booking their travels. That being said, however, 62 per cent of users still said that they found it difficult to find the right deal for them, with 49 per cent saying they used anything from four to seven different websites to find, for example, a hotel that fitted their budget.

Of the 87 per cent of users who said that they would happily deal with a chatbot, 40 per cent said they would find it useful when managing all business and work travel arrangements, while 26 per cent said it would be very useful. Thirty-seven per cent, meanwhile, said that they would prefer to deal with a chatbot rather than a person.

“Travellers are looking for new ways to find deals on all facets of their travel arrangements,” commented Adam Harrold, Managing Director and Chief Technical Architect at Humley. “It's clear that chatbots have caught their attention as a much-needed and helpful tool, but not all chatbots are equally adept at helping consumers navigate deals, book flights or rooms or learn about destinations. At Humley, we've taken a unique approach to AI-powered chatbot by equipping them with natural language capabilities – providing users with an authentic and natural experience that makes it simple to find the most relevant and useful information that travellers seek."