DESTINATION AND TOURISM
geekwire | April 06, 2023
For many travelers, technology long ago supplanted travel agents for the basic booking of flights, hotels, and excursions. But how quickly will artificial intelligence replace humans for trusted travel advice?
That’s the larger question behind Expedia’s announcement this morning that it will offer a new “travel planning experience” powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Debuting today on Expedia’s iOS app, it’s part of a growing wave of AI-powered travel- and trip-planning technologies from a variety of startups and app developers.
Travel advice is already one of the most commonly cited scenarios for people using ChatGPT in its raw form or in Microsoft’s Bing search engine, for example. However, Expedia’s significant presence in travel makes this rollout especially interesting as a gauge of AI’s potential to serve in a role traditionally left to human expertise.
One of the ways Expedia is trying to differentiate its ChatGPT implementation is by automatically saving hotels discussed during a chat session to a “trip” in the app to make it easier to book a stay.
This capability will expand later to other forms of reservations, including flights and rental cars, Expedia CTO Rathi Murthy told the Wall Street Journal.
On the topic of privacy, Expedia won’t share customer data with OpenAI from ChatGPT searches in the app, but it may use the data in the future to further personalize the experience, Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern told the WSJ.
For now, Expedia is classifying the initial feature on iOS as a beta, which means it’s not necessarily ready for prime time.
For example, Lance Ulanoff reports on TechRadar this morning that he encountered a bug in which the app didn’t save his preferred hotel after he tested the chat function to plan a hypothetical family vacation.
Expedia says it will “rapidly evolve the experience” based on how people use it.
“It’s also important to remember that while many measures have been taken to limit inaccurate results and inappropriate responses, at times the experience may not work exactly as expected,” the company adds. “Feedback from both our employees and all those using the experience will be continually looked at to make sure responses meet our standards.”
In other words, your mileage may vary, perhaps literally.
Ultimately, this rollout promises to be an important test for this emerging era of generative AI. Just be sure to double-check its accuracy in the meantime before spending thousands on a trip to Europe.
About Expedia Group
At Expedia Group we believe that travel is a force for good it opens minds, builds connections, and bridges divides. We create transformative tech that fuels partner growth while enabling unforgettable experiences for all travelers, everywhere. Our trusted family of brands are known and loved by millions, and we power more trips than anyone else. To learn more about our vision of a more open world through travel, visit www.expediagroup.com.
prnewswire | May 31, 2023
Ready or not, hurricane season is upon us. NOAA is predicting a "near-normal" Atlantic Hurricane Season – with 12 to 17 named tropical storms and 5 to 9 hurricanes. But, as we know, a storm doesn't have to be named to ruin a vacation. So, InsureMyTrip, a NOAA Weather-Ready Nation WRN Ambassador™, is committed to helping travelers prepare for weather-related concerns.
InsureMyTrip's Hurricane Educational Center now includes more information to better assist travelers with their upcoming trips. The content hub also offers access to travel data, a free travel guide eBook, videos, and other resources.
Travel insurance coverage can be confusing, especially when extreme weather comes into play. One major thing to keep in mind – buy travel insurance early. Once a storm starts forming, it is considered a "foreseeable event" and insurance coverage will no longer be available to cover losses related to that storm.
How Hurricane Coverage Works
Travel insurance is an effective and cost-efficient way to cope with the risk of travel during hurricane season and to help guard against potential financial losses.
When it comes to severe weather, insurance may enable travelers to receive reimbursement of pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs if they must cancel a trip due to severe weather-related issues covered under the trip cancellation benefit.
Here are some scenarios that may trigger travel insurance coverage:
My flights are grounded due to a hurricane: Many plans may cover a traveler when common carriers - such as airlines and cruise lines - cease service due to weather. The cessation of services must be for a certain number of hours, usually 24-48.
My resort is in the path of a hurricane: A few plans may cover when the traveler's destination is under a NOAA-issued hurricane warning. *
A hurricane damaged my hotel or resort: Many plans may cover a traveler when a hotel, resort, or vacation rental is devastated and made uninhabitable by a storm.
A hurricane damaged my home: Many plans may offer coverage when the primary home of a traveler sustains destructive storm damage that renders the home uninhabitable.
I changed my mind: For the flexibility to cancel a trip for reasons other than those listed as "covered reasons" on a policy, a traveler may consider Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) protection.
CFAR is an optional time-sensitive benefit available on some plans that allow a traveler to cancel a trip for any reason, up to 48 hours before the scheduled departure. Reimbursement is usually 50-75% of the prepaid, non-refundable trip cost. A traveler must meet specific eligibility requirements and must purchase a policy with CFAR within 14-21 days of making an initial trip payment or deposit.
Hurricanes and Airline Cancellation Policies
Flight cancellation policies vary by airline and circumstance. When an airline cancels a flight due to bad weather, most will try to rebook passengers on the next available flight.
Airlines are not required to reimburse travelers for losses incurred as a result of a canceled flight due to weather. Travelers concerned about protecting pre-paid, non-refundable trip expenses should consider travel insurance.
Travelers interested in learning more about insurance plans for travel during hurricane season can visit www.InsureMyTrip.com or call 1-800-551-4635 to speak with a licensed travel insurance agent.
*Included on some comprehensive travel insurance plans, the NOAA-issued hurricane warning must be issued for the traveler's destination within of the traveler's scheduled departure. The cancellation must also be more than 14 days after the traveler's effective date for trip cancellation coverage. This means that there would not be coverage for a hurricane warning issued within the 14-day period after your policy goes in
It's simple. InsureMyTrip finds you the right travel insurance plan, every time. InsureMyTrip is the authority on travel insurance. We are committed to empowering travelers to make the best possible insurance decisions by leveraging our technology, data intelligence, and expertise. InsureMyTrip is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau.
Travelport | March 13, 2023
Travelport, a global technology company for travel, has recently acquired Deem for further investment in innovation to modernize the retailing and corporate travel sector. This acquisition would improve Deem's speed to market and allow seamless integration of multi-source content.
Deem is a modern technology solutions provider for the corporate travel industry and previously worked under Enterprise Holdings, a mobility solutions provider. It has a suite of online booking and travel technology products designed especially for business travelers, travel managers, travel-management companies and suppliers. It is making the corporate travel experience more efficient for all. It is entitled as one of the 'Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies of 2022'. It aims to continue growth in its share of the corporate travel business, and the Travelport's investment is further increasing that growth at a global level.
Travelport is an established NDC leader and launched the end-to-end solution for American Airlines' NDC content. It plans to enhance its position with the swift technical integration of Deem company. It will avail Deem of the NDC offers, products and services. The NDC content is important for travel agencies, corporations and travelers, particularly those in North America. Currently, North American airlines are shifting some content exclusively to NDC.
CEO of Travelport, Greg Webb said, "The game-changing acquisition of Deem by Travelport will fulfill a growing, post-pandemic need for a tight, fully-integrated corporate tool that will provide access to all multi-source content, including NDC." He added, "We've been laser-focused on investing in technology innovation, and Travelport+ has simplified the agency workflow, upgraded how travel content is curated, and enabled modern travel retailing. Now with the acquisition of Deem, Travelport will provide corporate travel with award-winning, complementary tools that are as revolutionary, modern, and easy-to-use as Travelport+."
(Source – Cision PR Newswire)
Headquartered in Langley, Berkshire, Travelport, an information technology and services provider for travel, offers solutions for technology, travel commerce, travel, distribution, payment, airlines, travel agents, online travel agencies, travel management companies, corporate travel, B2B, cloud, search, business intelligence, data, and travel industry. It has been working as a worldwide travel retail platform since 1971. Its huge marketplace, Travelport+, connects buyers to sellers for exceptional travel experience and modern digital retailing. It is an independent platform providing solutions for complex travel ecosystems through innovation. It supports bookings of travel suppliers worldwide.