Travel tech this week: Instaroom new AI, BoG in Europe, and more

People say that technology is the main driver of change, which is true for the travel industry. It seems that new technologies emerge every week that aims to improve the existing process or to replace primitive methods making things a whole lot easier.

Here are the five tech developments this week:

The Landmark London accepts WeChat, Alipay

The Landmark London has announced the launch of WeChat Pay and Alipay payment systems. The Landmark London is one of the capital’s first hotels to incorporate the pioneering technology, which will allow guests with WeChat or Alipay accounts to pay for their entire hotel experience through the applications.

This includes room and suite bookings, spa treatments and all food and beverages served in the hotel’s iconic Winter Garden, the Great Central Bar and Restaurant and the Mirror Bar, ensuring a seamless and “home-from-home” experience.

Instaroom debuts AI FAQ bot

Instaroom, an AI-powered messaging platform built for managing complex customer journeys, transactions, and bookings for hoteliers, has launched its new artificial intelligence FAQ Bot, designed to intuitively answer commonly asked customer questions and reduce hotel management costs.

The new FAQ Bot, which now comes with premium subscriptions, can be integrated into a hotel’s homepage and reduces incoming inquiries by up to 40%, consequently decreasing inbound phone calls and emails.

Expedia helps Thai businesses’ mobile strategy

Expedia Group urges Thai businesses to revisit their approach to mobile since a successful mobile strategy presents one of the biggest profit opportunities. In Thailand, the smartphone penetration continues to grow at a rapid rate. By 2021, smartphone will be used by nearly 80% of the country’s total population, up by more than 10% of today’s rate. What’s more impressive is that half of all online purchases in Thailand were made through mobile devices last year.

Expedia Group has seen 250+ million cumulative app downloads as of the end of 2017, up 40% from the previous year, reaching significantly more users than the typical hotel brand with less than 15+ million downloads.

Cybersecurity in aviation

According to the 2018 Air Transport Cybersecurity Insights, 89% of airline CIOs plan a major program around cybersecurity initiatives in the next three years, up from 71% last year. This is even higher for airports, with 95% of them planning major programs by 2021. Business continuity, through the protection of operational systems and processes, remains the priority for more than half (57%) of airline and airport executives.

As a result of the heightened focus, spend on cybersecurity is increasing year-on-year, reaching USD 3.9 billion in 2018. Global IT provider SITA found out that airlines spend an average of 9% of their overall IT budget on cybersecurity this year, up from 7% in 2017. Similarly, airport investment in cybersecurity in 2018 is set to rise to 12% of their overall IT budgets in 2018, up from 10% last year.

Book on Google now live in Europe

Book on Google (BoG) is now available to European users who can book hotels around the world via Google’s European points of sale such as google.de, google.fr or google.it. The new markets launched by Google are Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy, Holland, Norway, Poland and Sweden, which have been added to those existing: the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

Book on Google is the interface of Google Hotel Ads, which allows customers to make their reservations without having to leave Google at any time. It tries to avoid friction and possible customer leaks that occur when changing pages to book (especially when on mobile).

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