Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have been buzz words in the travel industry for some time. Big data helps forecast and predict customer needs and seasonal patterns, which provides insight contributing to building a healthy travel market. At Ctrip, Asia’s largest Online Travel Agency (OTA) 50 TBs of data are generated from its 300 million registered users daily.
“The important thing is to understand a customer’s individual needs, as well as be able to make recommendations based on a larger pool of data.” says Lynn Qu, Vice President of Product, Trip.com. “Based on our data analyzation, we may suggest destinations and activities travellers haven’t thought about, or hotels they haven’t heard of because we found that similar travellers have rated these highly, or because it’s an exceptional deal compared to similar offerings, or both. Additionally, we can actively processing the signals our customers provide – their preferred departure airports, the holiday locations they seem to be interested in, price ranges and of course, the actual dates and destinations they have booked with us. In short, big data helps us understand how to improve our services and products for travellers.”
Big data can also be used to build win-win partnerships with partners from around the world.
“We are using data solutions to create synergy with many of our partners. We start by analyzing customer behavior and then profiling. During this process we look into many different categories, including customer behavior, lifestyles, service records and many more. With big data we are able to build a stronger system for personalized recommendations and intuitive travel booking while also supporting our partners in demand prediction and revenue management” says Quanwu Xiao, Senior Director of Big Data & Analytics, Ctrip. “Just last year, we were able to offer valuable data solutions to one of our airline partners by helping them predict the demand for a newly opened direct route. By analyzing search data, bench marking similar routes and also researching current capacity, the capacity of transfer routes or similar routes, we were able to help contribute in the successful launch of a new direct route. My team continues to research how we can work with our partners to create win-win solutions not only for our partners but also for our customers.”
The travel industry is constantly evolving due to the advances in technology. In 2016, Ctrip launched an industry first wide-scale utilization of artificial intelligence for customer service. AI-powered chatbots help to engage with customers to resolve issues and help with reservations. Currently, services provided by AI technology accounts for more than 70% of total air ticket sales and after-sales services.
Learn more about Ctrip and Trip.com and how to partner with them by visiting their booth at Aviation Festival Stand#30!