Sabre Corporation, the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, announced the development of an AI-powered chatbot that leverages Microsoft Bot Framework and Microsoft Cognitive Services, a set of tools that organizations can use to add intelligent and conversational features to their applications. Sabre will initially test the chatbot with two travel agencies and the travelers they serve.
One of the key challenges in human-computer interactions is the ability of computers to understand what people want and find relevant information that connects to their intent. Travel applications must recognize a plethora of unique terms and phrases, which adds complexity for industry applications.
Two Sabre-connected travel agencies – Dallas-based Travel Solutions International USA and San Francisco-based Casto Travel – will test a white-label version of the chatbot with travelers, who will access the chatbot via Facebook Messenger. Travelers will use the chatbot for common service and support requests, such as changing an existing flight reservation. The chatbot will divert to a live travel agent if it is unable to fulfill a request.
Throughout the test, Sabre and its partner travel agencies will evaluate travelers’ preferences for how often and when they engage the chatbot and when they are likely to divert to a live agent. The companies expect to gain a better understanding of the best way to engage travelers with chatbots and solve for some of the most common hurdles that many industries face when it comes to chatbots.
Further, Sabre Hospitality Solutions is building a chatbot prototype that would allow travelers to shop, book and engage with hoteliers through the most common messaging platforms, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter and SMS text messaging, as well as voice assistants, such as Amazon's Echo (Alexa), Microsoft's Cortana, and Google Home. When ready, the company expects to test the prototype with some of its hotel customers.
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.