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Posts tagged ‘Hotels’

New Technology For Booking Travel

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Instead of entering a hotel search and receiving a page with hundreds of options, new data-driven travel agents—using humans, AI or both—are tailoring options based on a traveler’s personal preferences. These new agents use chatbots or messaging to communicate with travel bookers. Elaine Glusac, writing at The New York Times, offers these examples of data-driven travel planners.

Pana caters to frequent travelers. For a monthly fee, Pana is available 24 hours. It uses member profiles and past trips to funnel travel requests to human agents.

Mezi uses chatbots to handle travel booking. If a complicated issue arises then humans get involved; afterward they train the bots to handle it in the future. The more you book with Mezi, the more it learns about your preferences.

Savanti Travel helps frequent travelers cut costs while gaining status with travel companies. It doesn’t operate on commission to avoid the urge to find more expensive bookings.

Hello Hipmunk is a travel-planning messaging system. It runs through Facebook Messenger, Skype or Slack, and lets you topic hop as if you were talking to a human. It can offer tips such as on the cheapest times to travel.

Flightfox specializes in complicated itineraries. The service books flights only; for a fee, agents find the best prices and send you links so you can do the booking yourself. It also uses points systems to find the best deals.

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They Say Airbnb Is Turning Brooklyn White

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Co-Living Next Big Trend In Hospitality

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Co-living can be seen as a dorm for adults. Back in September  2016 , AccorHotels announced it was launching a new brand, Jo&Joe, largely inspired by co-living and hostels. And in December 2016, Hilton Worldwide announced it too was considering launching an “urban Microtel” brand concept in the near future. They view it as a  solution for the urban housing crisis, A remedy for lonely Millennials seeking out true connections in this all-too digitally connected universe and a new live/work alternative for remote workers and global nomads.

Here’s what signifies Jo&Joe as co-living

  • Urban city-center locations “close to public transport and less than 15 minutes away from the major points of interest”
  • A central bar for locals and guests alike to frequent
  • Local and affordable craft cuisine
  • A collaborative kitchen where guests can cook for themselves or each other
  • A “Happy House” area where guests can do their laundry, relax, cook, or unwind, just as they would when they’re at home
  • Shared sleeping arrangements in the “Together” space, where you’ll find “an ingenious modular sleeping area that guests share without sacrificing privacy”
  • Private sleeping accommodations in rooms and apartments for two to five people with private bathrooms and possibly a kitchen space, called “Yours”
  • Alternative accommodations that take the form of “OOO! (Out of the Ordinary)” experiences. They could be yurts, hammocks, or caravans, for example, for the ultimate social media bragging opportunity
  • A mobile app that connects guests, Jo&Joe staff members, and locals alike to serve as a “social accelerator

Podshare based in Los Angelos

Common based in New York City

Sabbatical, which is opening its first location in Puerto Rico in August and plans to expand to Mexico City and Montenegro in 2017

Commonspace  Based in Syracuse New York

WeLive based in NYC’s Wall Street, Washington D.C. & Crystal City

PureHouse (purehouse.org),co-housing in Williamsburg, Brookly provide spaces that support entrepreneurs, digital nomads, artists and designers- 

OpenDoor (opendoor.io) has properties including the 16-room Farmhouse in Berkeley, California

 The Collective (thecollective.co.uk) has launched the largest co-living site of its kind in UK capital, accommodating more than 500 people.

Zoku (livezoku.com) in Amsterdam

Roam (roam.co) and you can stay in its co-living centres in Bali, Miami, Madrid and London (its Sloane Square site opened at the end of last year). Tokyo and San Francisco are coming soon.

Austrian Hotel Shut down By hackers

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One of Europe’s largest luxury hotels found itself on the end of an online hostage situation over an undiscovered vulnerability in its electronic key system.

According to the English language Austrian news site The Local, the Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt located in the picturesque Alps was hit by a cyberattack that resulted in all its guests being locked out of their rooms.

Activating the door locking mechanism remotely, the hackers were able to put the hotel into achaotic state during the height of the ski season, while also shutting down the hotel’s entire computer system.

To give control back to the hotel, the hackers demanded a sum of €1,500 to be paid in bitcoin, or otherwise its guests were going to be sleeping in the hallways.

Given the circumstances, hotel management relented and paid the ransom, but unbeknownst to them the hackers had built in a backdoor to their fix resulting in two further hacks.

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The Future of Travel 2024

 

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Robots & The Travel Industry

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A robot named Kanae, who hails from Japan, can be programmed to speak any language (including sign language). She has two sisters: Chihira Aico, who assists shoppers at the Tokyo shopping center, and Chihira Junko, who offers help at an info desk at Tokyo’s Aqua City Odaiba shopping mall. Bots in tourism signal an industry shift—Hilton Hotels, for example, announced on March 9 it was teaming up with IBM for a concierge robot named Naofor a concierge robot named Nao, while the SkyMax Skytender started mixing martinis on airplanes back in 2012.

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Bots Assisting In Hotels

American hotel multinational Hilton has teamed up with tech giant IBM to trial a robotic concierge powered by IBM’s AI software Watson.

The bots name is Connie after the chain’s founder, Conrad Hilton, and it is currently assisting residents at Hilton McLean hotel, in Virginia.Connie helps guests navigate around the hotel and find restaurants or tourist attractions in the area—but it is not able to check them in just yet.

Connie’s physical support is Nao, a French-made 58cm-tall android that has become the go-to platform for educational and customer care tasks, thanks to its relative affordability (about £6,000 or $9,000). But the concierge’s brain is based on IBM’s flagship AI program Watson—the Jeopardy!-winning system engineered to understand people’s questions and answer them in the best way possible.

In this case, Watson’s main role is natural language processing, which enables the bot to welcome guests, grasp their spoken queries, and answer accordingly. The information on local attractions and interesting sites is actually channelled from the database of travel platform WayBlazer, also an IBM’s partner. Connie is also designed to improve itself through interactions with human customers, learning from frequent queries how to fine-tune its recommendations.

Japan, the Hen-na Hotel has in fact whittled down its biological staff to only ten people, and is in general fully manned by robots, speaking both Japanese and English. The English-speaking concierge is, bafflingly, a velociraptor sporting a blue bowtie.

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