WTM 2023: Trip.com says technology and personalisation is forefront of travel's future

WTM 2023: Trip.com says technology and personalisation is forefront of travel's future

It was the company's first appearance at WTM

China-based Trip.com Group presented its inroads into the European market and the transformative role of artificial intelligence at World Travel Market (WTM) London last week.

Boon Sian Chai, managing director and vice president for International Markets of Trip.com Group took to the Elevate stage at the Technology Summit. 

Chai discussed the “pivotal” role of AI in “revolutionising” the travel sector, enhancing customer service through intelligent chatbots, and improving overall service experiences, while also touching on the resurgence of outbound travel from China.

The introduction of TripGenie, Trip.com Group's AI assistant, earlier this year marked a “significant enhancement” in the company's technology suite. 

It has improved user engagement and conversion rates by personalising travel experiences and simplifying travel planning. 

The Group plans to further enhance TripGenie's features, augmenting its capability to provide bespoke travel arrangements.

Chai said: "Our AI-driven tools, such as our curated travel lists, Trip.Trends and Trip.Best, transcend mere technological evolution.

"They foster a sense of community and enrich the travel experience, adding a personal touch to each journey our customers undertake."

Chai highlighted the impact of Trip.Best, which has markedly increased traffic and bookings for partner hotels, as well as Trip Moments which has actively involved a substantial segment of the app's users in creating and sharing content. 

The Group's strides in AI for customer service, celebrated for their accuracy in understanding user queries and high rates of resolving inquiries autonomously, have further cemented their dedication to improving customer interactions.

Andy Washington, general manager for Europe of Trip.com Group, emphasised the company's strategic commitment to integrating with local cultures and travel ecosystems.

He said: "Our comprehensive, all-in-one app ensures a personalised journey for every traveller, reflecting the unique character of each destination and catering to the diverse preferences of our customers. 

“It encompasses a wide array of transportation options, accommodations, and local experiences, all while championing responsible travel and sustainability.

Although still in the growth stage across Europe, Trip.com Group's bookings are witnessing an increase, signalling an expansion of its influence across the continent. 

The company's data reveals a significant uptick in travel activity from Europe, with the UK experiencing a 67% increase in flight bookings and a 62% rise in hotel reservations from 2022 to 2023. 

This figure eclipses pre-pandemic levels with a staggering 604% growth in flights compared to 2019. 

Similar upward trends are evident across other key European markets, including Germany, France, Spain, and Italy, which collectively have seen a 40% rise in flight bookings and a 60% increase in hotel bookings year over year.

The Group believe technology and personalisation are at the forefront of travel's future.