Travelport creates voice search for EasyJet’s app

PhocusWire | September 05, 2019

EasyJet will soon launch voice search capability in its mobile app, enabling travelers to find flight options by saying their destination, dates of travel and airports they want to fly from.Dubbed Speak Now, the tool has been created by Travelport using Google Clouds natural language understanding tool known as Dialogflow.Travelport says a typical manual search query takes 12 taps, but with Speak Now, it can be completed in seconds and it can be easier to use for travelers with certain disabilities, such as visual impairment.For now the voice tool is only for search, with booking completed manually, but Travelport says voice booking will be added in the future.

Spotlight

With millions of Americans accessing video and music streaming services from mobile devices, people want to stay connected wherever their travels take them. With SinglePoint’s mobile internet systems, you can stay online while cruising on your favorite lakes to camping in the remote wilderness. Getting back to nature doesn’t have to mean disconnecting from the world.

Spotlight

With millions of Americans accessing video and music streaming services from mobile devices, people want to stay connected wherever their travels take them. With SinglePoint’s mobile internet systems, you can stay online while cruising on your favorite lakes to camping in the remote wilderness. Getting back to nature doesn’t have to mean disconnecting from the world.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Setting a new course for Pictou cruise ship visits

Town of Pictou. | August 23, 2021

PICTOU, N.S, After two seasons of cancelled cruise ship visits, the local tourism industry is showing signs of a rebound after COVID. Michelle Young, Manager of Recreation Services for Pictou Recreation and Parks, says that while cruise ship visits may have been on pause since 2020, work has continued behind the scenes to prepare for an eventual return of tourists. Now, bookings are beginning to ramp up again with ships scheduled to visit in 2022 and 2023. “We're very optimistic,” says Young. “There's a lot of preparation, though, to get to that point. Over this past year-and-a-half, the cruise sector has been highly impacted with COVID. So, in the meantime, there's been a lot of preparation going on at the higher levels. When the reopening happens, there will be protocols in place and guidelines that will be given to us that we will have to follow. There's also preparation on the community side as well.” Since 2012, the local cruise ship business has grown by partnering with companies operating smaller-sized vessels – an ideal fit for the primarily American tourists looking for a unique tourist experience. “We've had some great successes,” says Young. “There's a company that is regularly calling on Pictou every year – Pearl Seas. We've always aligned, what we have here according to the cruise company and what their brand is all about and what their client is looking for.” According to Young, the appeal to Pictou for U.S. visitors is a mixture of local features, including the connection to Scotland, local architecture and music. For some, the draw is a tie to family. “There's been a number of times that passengers on the ship actually get off and visit friends and family here, or they have come through another time while traveling and had a desire to come back by ship,” says Young. “We have one family that was researching family history and they needed to find a graveyard here. So that was very, very specific- they had their own agenda for that cruise.” The return of the cruise ships in a boon to the entire local economy, say Young, with not just tourism-related businesses benefiting. “Impact is in the local economy here is, you know who comes through your front door,” says Young. “By cruise passengers and crews locally walking through a gift shop or a pharmacy looking for either a souvenir or supplies, those are the direct things that local business community feel.” Adam Coulter, the UK Managing Editor for cruisecritic.com, predicts that smaller vessels to more unique locations will be a rising trend for the cruise ship industry in the future. “Expedition ships also focus on outdoor exploration in more remote places, which has become a priority during the pandemic,” says Coulter in a recent article. For Pictou, getting on the map for the cruise industry at this moment might be ideal as companies look for smaller, safer destinations that are off the beaten path.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Affirm and Agoda Enter Partnership

Agoda | June 14, 2022

On June 13, payment network Affirm announced a partnership with global travel platform Agoda. Agoda is part of Booking Holdings, the world’s leading online travel and related services provider. This partnership allows eligible travelers to book their hotel stays for upcoming trips across the Agoda platform via app and web. In addition, they can pay over time for bookings exceeding $50. When travelers choose Affirm as a checkout action on Agoda, those eligible can split the total cost of their purchases into either biweekly or monthly payments for as low as 0% APR. Travelers get to see the total cost of their purchase at the time and never have to pay more than the agreed amount upfront. Agoda has integrated Affirm’s Adaptive Checkout to offer customers various payment options to choose from based on their budget and preferences. Eligible travelers also have an option to pay four interest-free biweekly payments and monthly payment options. “We are always looking for innovative ways to help more people access travel, using tech to simplify the search, booking and payment processes,The launch of pay-over-time options with Affirm will enable travelers in North America who might have previously found it inconvenient to pay for their booking in one lump sum to spread the costs over multiple payments without incurring any compound interest or additional costs. We’re helping consumers get back out into the world of travel – on their own terms.” -Agoda’s Chief Financial Officer Thi-Mai-Linh Bui. According to a recent Affirm Consumer Spend Report, 80% of consumers agree that 2022 will be the year they splurge on a bucket-list trip and nearly 30% plan to pay for travel expenses over time instead of all at once, said Affirm’s Chief Revenue Officer Geoff Kott. “Our partnership with Agoda gives more travelers a budget-friendly way to pay for their next milestone vacation so they can travel without concern for late or hidden fees.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Tourism for Better Future, a Major Priority at ATM's Global Stage

Arabian Travel Market | May 17, 2021

The 28th edition of Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the region's largest travel and tourism showcase, returned to Dubai on May 16 to focus on Tourism for a Brighter Future during the opening session at ATM's Global Stage. With the year 2021 ushering in a new era for travel and tourism, leading industry leaders from around the world kicked off the dialogue on the ATM Global Stage by providing insight into the factors behind the sector's rapid recovery. Vaccinations, market segmentation and technological innovations, travel corridors, marketing, and product diversification have all been identified as key factors of substantial recovery by 2023. During the Tourism Beyond Covid Recovery session on the ATM Global Stage, tourism ministers and key industry stakeholders from the Gulf and Southern Europe convened to discuss the vast opportunities for travel, tourism, and hospitality presented by the potential return of mass leisure tourism, medical and educational travel, business events, and, beyond that, cross-cultural exchange. This was followed by the ATM China Tourism Forum, which highlighted China's continued significance as a major source market for many MENA destinations, as well as the imminent return of inbound tourism from China as destinations such as Dubai approach "Covid-19 safe" status due to the success of their domestic vaccination drives. Meanwhile, at the ATM Travel Forward theatre, delegates heard from world-class technology leaders who shared industry-leading perspectives about the role of technology in the future of travel. ATM 2021 will host 67 conference sessions with over 145 local, regional, and international speakers throughout the four-day event. Attendees on the Global Stage will also be able to attend the hotel industry forum, the ATM Saudi Arabia Tourism Summit: Transformation through tourism, an International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC), an aviation panel, and a special session on lessons learned contributing to the recovery and ongoing resilience in global travel. ATM 2021, inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, CEO and Founder of Emirates Group, and Chairman of Dubai World, will take place from May 17 to 19.

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