In today’s fast-paced world, travellers often seek efficient and personalised solutions to plan their trips. With advancements in technology and the rise of AI, travel companies are embracing innovative ways to enhance customer experiences. Recently, Trip.com announced the latest developments with TripGenie – our pioneering AI-powered assistant. How does this AI assistant set itself apart from competitors in the market? And how can you plan a trip with TripGenie? Will we see more of such AI-assistants in the future? Well, Amy Wei, Senior Product Director at Trip.com and product owner of TripGenie, has got all the answers.
What makes TripGenie stand out from other AI-powered travel chatbots?
Amy: TripGenie’s major differentiator lies in its ability to provide actionable responses. Unlike traditional conversation-based AI tools, TripGenie not only answers questions but also takes users directly to relevant information. For example, when a user asks about hotels in Singapore that are family-friendly or have an outdoor pool, TripGenie quickly presents a list of hotels that match the criteria. No more sifting through search results; it’s a faster and more efficient way to find what you need.
This integration of voice commands and AI-driven actions simplifies the travel planning process, making it feel more like having a conversation with a helpful assistant rather than interacting with a typical OTA website.
Here’s how a conversation with TripGenie might look like:
Why doesn’t TripGenie book a flight or hotel for you?
Amy: While TripGenie assists with information and suggestions, it doesn’t handle booking directly. Instead, it streamlines the journey from inquiry to action. For example, after asking for flight options, TripGenie will show you the available flights, but as a customer, the customer will still retain control over selecting and booking a ticket. This approach respects the traveller’s autonomy while eliminating unnecessary hassle in the search process.
There is great reason to be excited for the future of TripGenie. With the rollout of large language models like ChatGPT, the possibilities are vast. Trip.com’s tech team is continuously working on expanding the AI assistant’s capabilities to provide even more actionable responses.
Besides being fuss-free, how does TripGenie make your travels more interesting?
Amy: I have personally used TripGenie during my travels to Vietnam, and found that the AI assistant’s responses accurate and helpful. The conversational nature of TripGenie allowed me to refine my travel plans easily, providing me with local insights and recommendations.
On another trip to Rotterdam, Netherlands, TripGenie told me that Indonesian cuisine there was very good. Initially, I did not quite understand why I needed to go to Rotterdam to eat Indonesian cuisine there. Later on, I was chatting with friends and asked them why I should taste the Indonesian cuisine there. Their answer was very surprising, saying that there is a lively Indonesian community in Rotterdam. Therefore, that city has a lot of Indonesian restaurants. That was very surprising to me, that I had to go to Europe and taste Indonesian cuisine.
How has Trip.com enhanced customer support and engagement with TripGenie?
Amy: AI has long played a role in customer service at Trip.com. Even before large language models, AI-powered tools were used to provide automatic responses and handle straightforward queries. The introduction of ChatGPT and TripGenie took customer support to a new level, allowing for more comprehensive and personalised interactions. For example, TripGenie now helps travellers with their unique questions about car rentals, local cuisines, parking, and other travel-related topics.
Let’s look at security and privacy issues, the concerns about data protection and privacy.
Amy: Trip.com is committed to safeguarding user data and follows stringent data protection regulations. Personal data shared during conversations is protected, and sensitive information, like credit card numbers, etc, are masked before being passed to third-party AI models for processing.
What languages can we expect it to have?
Amy: TripGenie is actively being tested with voice interactions in English. The technology team is diligently working on the accuracy of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) for other languages to enable voice commands more widely.
What do you think is the future of TripGenie?
Amy: The future is very bright – we’re excited about upcoming plans for TripGenie, including much more voice-enabled interactions that make travel planning even more seamless. We envision integrating the AI assistant with voice-activated devices like smart speakers and leveraging the power of voice recognition technology to create a more natural and user-friendly experience.
Furthermore, TripGenie is set to become a personalisation powerhouse. Trip.com plans to use AI to analyse user behaviour and preferences to offer more tailored suggestions for hotels, restaurants, and attractions. This hyper-personalisation will elevate the travel planning experience, saving time and effort for travellers.
Any final thoughts?
Amy: The recent press release from Trip.com showcased the emergence of AI-powered assistants like TripGenie, transforming the travel industry and providing travellers with smart and efficient solutions to their travel needs. While AI can greatly enhance the travel planning process, it will never replace the human touch and connection that comes from personalised recommendations and local insights. Instead, AI serves as a valuable tool that empowers travellers to make better decisions, discover new places, and create memorable experiences on their journeys.
With continuous advancements and user-centric innovations, TripGenie is poised to revolutionise the way we interact with travel planning, making it more accessible, efficient, and enjoyable for travellers worldwide.