Youth travel specialist Contiki has launched a chat bot through Facebook messenger.
Named Tiki, it is designed to assist in navigating the brand’s eight signature travel styles and identify the most suitable trips for clients.
The chatbot asks users questions about their personality, travel preferences and tastes through a mix of pop-culture references and internet memes.
Through its responses – or “bot-banter” – the chatbot offers users a tool which Contiki’s describes as entertaining, engaging and useful.
Once Tiki has identified the user’s travel style, it suggests a number of trips that would suit their tastes best.
Unlike other brands which have released technology aimed at automating the roles of travel consultants, Contiki said it is “acutely aware” of the necessity for human interaction when it comes to destination knowledge, customer service, and booking handling that can only be provided by agents.
Marketing vice president Alexis Sitaropoulos said: “Our audience aren’t homogenous. When people think of youth they’re quick to generalise, but it would be naive to do so.
“Tiki is a tool that can be used to bring some fun into the research phase of travel.
“It will also help agents to better understand their client’s interests and aspirations, and will give agents a ‘leg up’ by suggesting trips that suit their client’s motivations, tastes and preferences.”
Contiki introduced travel styles in 2014 in an effort to cater to the diverse tastes of young travellers and provide a simple way to match traveller intentions with their perfect trip.