TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Artificial Intelligence for True Cruise Opinion

Cruisewatch | April 30, 2021

We've always heard that the internet is filled with cruise reviews and ship ratings. Cruisewatch, a tech company, is using artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor online comments and customer ratings for the benefit of travel advisors and cruise lines worldwide. With its latest review intelligence, the firm will show travel experts how cruise brands are placed in the industry and compared to other products - all from the traveler's truthful viewpoint.

Big Data Brings Big Insights

The travel consumer, like almost every other industry, enjoys ratings and word of mouth. Travel experts must keep up to date on the opinions of their potential clients as well as the types of experiences that each ship can have. Since no travel agency has time to read through millions of reviews every day, the travel industry needs a more intelligent solution.

Cruisewatch, a startup, has been dealing with this very problem, developing technology capable of processing massive volumes of textual online reviews at once. Their strategy is focused on artificial intelligence and big data. As a result, they will automatically interpret and contextualize the written word of a customer review and assess the worth of a cruise.

Cruise Ratings and Customer Clustering

Behind the tech buzzwords of machine learning and natural language processing is machinery that offers deep insights into consumer satisfaction and emotions. Cruisewatch's technology contextualizes feedback, groups it into categories, and recognizes the most positive and negative aspects of a cruise ship and brand. It then summarises the gathered data, showing all ranking aspects at a glance.

Simultaneously, the intelligence collects demographic data from customers and correlates it with their statements: "There are no two similar customers. We segment the data based on the type of customer so that travel experts can make high-quality recommendations to their clients "Markus Stumpe, CEO of Cruisewatch, says. Cruisewatch intends to develop more smart cruise platforms to provide more useful insights into target groups and needs. To aid the industry's recovery from the Corona crisis, the company offers attractive offers to pilot customers.

About Cruisewatch
Cruisewatch.ai is a cruise startup funded by investors. They have been working to innovate the travel industry since 2016. The company's current goal is to digitize travel agents and experts all over the world. The company's data-driven and AI-powered cruise technology enhances cruise advice and enhances the sales workflow. Their product portfolio includes everything from market transparency tools including pricing alerts to customer insights and matchmaking tools. All are designed in modules that can be consumed separately.

Spotlight

Who says business and pleasure have to be separate? Today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Cities for Bleisure Travel (2019). For this list, we’re only looking at Pacific-Asian cities that have become popular with travelers looking to combine “business” and “leisure”, according to a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Spotlight

Who says business and pleasure have to be separate? Today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Cities for Bleisure Travel (2019). For this list, we’re only looking at Pacific-Asian cities that have become popular with travelers looking to combine “business” and “leisure”, according to a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

CLEAR S-1 Proves Biometrics' Growth Beyond the Travel Industry

CLEAR | June 09, 2021

Biometrics are poised to make the leap beyond airports and act as a passport to any number of environments where crowds gather in post-COVID reopening. To that end, biometric security firm CLEAR filed its S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), paving the way for an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange. CLEAR may arguably be best known for its origin that ties into creating “a frictionless travel experience while enhancing homeland security,” as described in the prospectus. At a high level, the company’s biometric security service offers subscriptions to its services, speeding up passenger flow through TSA lines at the airport. But branching into other use cases shows how fungible, in a way, biometrics tech can be, where knowing who is who — for admission, for security, or commerce — is an essential deployment. But along the way, as CLEAR’s filing shows, the pivot beyond travel — where demand is only now recovering from the ravages of the pandemic — will help determine whether the firm will see ignition. CLEAR points to the “convenience economy” as a critical driver for using biometrics in a bid to streamline everyday interactions. Tracking The Enrollments Digging into the prospectus, since inception, there have been 5.6 million cumulative enrollments, with 61 million cumulative use cases across its platform. Along with the decline in travel-related activity, first-quarter revenues slipped 17 percent as U.S. domestic flyers dropped by 60 percent. But the company remarked in its prospectus that a trend in its favor would be the reopening of and return to secular growth in the travel industry. As travel declined, cumulative enrollments on the platform were up more than 12 percent, to 5.2 million. Looking across the entire year, revenue was up 20 percent to 230.8 million in 2020, while net loss narrowed to $9.3 million from $54.2 million. Moreover, the company has debuted its Health Pass app, which stores healthcare-related data such as COVID test and vaccine records, which can help members show credentials required to enter a sporting event. CLEAR has partnered with 26 sports and entertainment partners and 67 Health Pass-enabled partners. That reach helps give coverage to 110 locations, including offices, theaters, and theme parks. Launched in 2010, CLEAR’s biometric security service is popular among frequent fliers who purchase subscriptions for $179 a year. Along with gaining the ability to speed through airport lines, subscribers can also use the service at sports stadiums and entertainment venues. Looking Toward Scale CLEAR defines the total addressable markets, by vertical, as being rather significant. In aviation and travel, 90 million American adults fly at least twice annually, while 31 million flies at least six times annually. In hospitality, there were 1.3 billion room nights occupied in 2019, pre-pandemic, in the U.S. Per data from ESPN, across major sports leagues, there were 130 million sports attendees in 2019. The movement into adjacent use cases depends on how many consumers embrace $179 annual subscriptions (the price of Clear PLUS) and whether the populations that do so will justify partners signing on with the technology platform.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

WCI Technologies and Lumen Deliver Secure Connectivity for the Travel and Hospitality Industry

WCI Technologies, Lumen Tehcnologies | September 13, 2021

WCI Technologies, a World Cinema enterprise offering, in collaboration with Lumen Technologies, is delivering a range of network and IT services to the travel and hospitality industry. Most recently, these services helped enable hotel management company Remington Hotels to deliver a better guest experience with increased connectivity for guests who opt to use digital amenities, like mobile entry and virtual check-in and check-out. Working with WCI Technologies, a Lumen Channel Partner Program member, Texas-based Remington Hotels updated their wireless connectivity services at properties across the nation to provide enhanced performance, reliability and security. “Technology plays a role in every aspect of the travel industry and is only becoming more vital. We’re very excited to add value to our customers through a secure foundation of connectivity services,” said Robert Grosz, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, WCI. “WCI Technologies, in collaboration with Lumen, is expanding our advanced services portfolio and transforming our great legacy brand into a global technology leader in the industry.” As a Lumen Channel Partnership Program member, WCI Technologies can utilize the flexible, fully integrated portfolio of network and IT services provided by Lumen that spans infrastructure, applications, services and geographies to enable greater adaptability for customers. Offerings include a range of managed network and IT services designed for easy installation, maintenance, monitoring and management, thus simplifying the path to deployment and use. “As businesses are using tech to fuel change and supercharge the customer experience, our Partners can leverage our solutions and expertise to help accelerate growth, increase efficiencies and exceed customer expectations,” said David Young, senior vice president, strategic sales for Lumen. “Our Channel Partner program is about making connections – not just to our global network and technology solutions, but also to a network of support, resources and training that can help companies deliver new opportunities and experiences.” "Our partnership with WCI Technologies and Lumen has allowed us to deploy secure connectivity throughout our portfolio, catered to our modern-day traveler. Having partners that are committed to the success of the hotel industry despite the challenges of the pandemic is key. Their innovative technology paired with their top-of-the-line customer support has been a game-changer,” Said Stan Kennedy, Chief Operating Officer, Remington Hotels. Companies are moving towards hybrid cloud environments to leverage the hyper-scalable user experience of the cloud. Digital transformation is underway and when connecting to cloud service providers, flexible bandwidth capabilities and low latency are the top features required. WCI will focus on bringing solutions that address these business needs to its existing portfolio customers. About WCI: Headquartered in Houston, WCI is a market leader innovating and delivering technology and services to guest-centric properties. The company was the first technology service provider to hotels nationwide, beginning in 1974. Today, WCI is building on that legacy as a stable and trusted provider of video, data and connectivity services to some of the largest owners and managers of hotel and multifamily brands in the world.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

Klook Rebrands, Signaling the Transformation of its Business to Power a New Future of Travel

Klook | March 01, 2022

Klook, a leading travel and leisure e-commerce platform, launched a bold and all-new brand identity. The company's first end-to-end rebrand comes at a pivotal time of change in the travel industry, as Klook gears up to champion a new future of traveling in 2022 and beyond.The new brand identity invites people to experience everything with optimism, joyfulness, and enthusiasm. "The rebrand is a massive milestone for Klook. We've overcome many obstacles in the past two years to get here, and there's no better time than now to show everyone a new Klook, As we enter a new era of travel, this rebrand is our commitment to bring joy back to our customers who have missed the magic of traveling and be their go-to travel and leisure app at home or abroad." -Eric Gnock Fah, Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder of Klook. Cementing position as a leading superapp for travel and leisure Klook's ongoing efforts to curate and provide a wider range of joyful experiences for its customers both at home and abroad have more than quadrupled the number of products and services during the pandemic from 100,000 pre-COVID in 2019 to over 490,000 in 2021. It also doubled its global travel presence to over 1,000 destinations in 2021, paving the way for the much-anticipated recovery of international travel. Since the pandemic, Klook has shifted gears to focus on domestic travel with new activities such as local workshops, staycations, cruises, and car rentals. Despite most markets in Asia being under COVID-19 restrictions, the pivot has proven successful. The company surpassed 2019 revenue in 2021 on domestic travel alone, with monthly active users exceeding pre-COVID levels. As cross-border travel gradually resumes with vaccinated travel lanes and the easing of travel restrictions, this twin-growth strategy will enable Klook to maintain its foothold as the leading player in the Asia Pacific. Expanding our services to experience a world of joy in a new travel era As the superapp for travel and leisure, customers can discover and book the best of what any destination has to offer across three categories - play, stay and move. They can look forward to new offers such as hotels and staycations, car rentals, attraction passes, and services including COVID-19 testing and travel-related insurance. Stay+ for an epic stay experience: The company is expanding its staycations product to Stay+, a bundled accommodation and activities offering. Stay+ allows customers to purchase room-only offers at competitive rates with bundled experiences, including attractions, local tours, in-hotel services, and more. Car Rentals to take you anywhere: The company has consolidated one of the most extensive car rental inventory in the Asia Pacific and has seen over 350% year-on-year growth in 2021. It will continue its expansion efforts in 2022. Klook Pass for supersized fun: Combining the best packages from various activities and experiences, Klook Pass is an exclusive all-in-one digital pass format. It provides customers with savings, convenience, and a one-of-a-kind booking experience. Insurance for peace-of-mind: In partnership with ZA Tech, Klook became the first travel player to roll out a full suite of travel-related insurance on a multi-market level, focusing on Asia-Pacific. AXA and Chubb were the first two insurers partnering with Klook on their substantial product line. Relentlessly innovating to empower and help merchants succeed Klook is dedicated to elevating the travel industry in this new era of travel and will double down on its support for merchants in becoming future-ready. The company is launching Flickket, a new brand to accelerate the digital transformation of its merchants. The new brand will provide dedicated tech solutions to support them in digitizing faster and expanding their product distribution globally. Since 2020, the number of merchants coming on board to digitally transform their business has increased eightfold. Flickket will support them in a few key areas: Preparing for the next generation of travelers: With Flickket, merchants can enjoy "Express Go!", a touchless offline checkout solution. Customers today expect a contactless customer experience from start to finish. However, many merchants lack the resources to deploy such tech solutions. Merchants can leave the logistics with Flickket while providing customers with a seamless, contactless, and cashless ticket purchase experience. "Express Go!" is now being used by over 20 attractions across Asia. More capabilities to help merchants maximize inbound tourism: Our integration efforts with Google Things-to-Do and Grab enable merchants to reach an even larger customer demographic. They can also reach out to even more global customers through our vast partnership network of online travel agencies, airlines, and more. "Bigger, brighter, and better days are ahead for us and the travel industry. Expect more from us as we reimagine the way we travel in this new era," concludes Gnock Fah. Hear from Eric Gnock Fah as he shares more on our rebrand in this video. About Klook Klook is the leading travel and leisure e-commerce platform for experiences and services anytime, anywhere. We curate the most joyful experiences so that users can satisfy their relentless curiosity for adventure and experiences at home and around the world. With our website and app, users can experience a world of joy, from attractions, tours to local transportation and stays. Founded in 2014, we are here to inspire and enable more moments of joy through over 490,000 activities in over 1,000 destinations.

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