September 14, 2023

The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Travel

Rocket Travel by Agoda has been using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in many different facets of our organization to contribute to the success of our white-label solutions and other partnerships. In one recent A/B test utilizing AI to translate room titles, we saw customer support issues decrease by 23%, conversions increase by .15%, booking increase by 1.44% and revenue increase by 1.8% for all partners.

How is Rocket Travel by Agoda using AI?

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The use of AI in the travel industry is proving to be highly innovative and beneficial through automating development, content generation and conversational interfaces. Omri Morgenshtern, Chief Executive Officer at Agoda, recently discussed how AI can increase our development velocity allowing for more experimentation, more features and a better understanding of the travel consumer. At Rocket Travel by Agoda, the use of AI technology through experimentation is shining a light on how our developers can better improve our white-lable solutions for our travel loyalty brands.

Training AI for the travel industry

Our data team began experimenting with AI technology as a way to help streamline our processes. The team used an existing AI model developed by academic researchers at the University of Helsinki which specializes in translations between languages in general. We leveraged the machine learning capabilities of AI to train it to be hyper-focused on room titles and to understand specific terminologies within the hotel industry, such as "king" as a type of bed rather than an inherited position. Once AI learned our strategies and terminology, it proved to be a more flexible, affordable and quicker option compared to other services used in the past.

In-depth consumer journeys drive engagement throughout every phase of the customer lifecycle. A robust suite of transactional emails ensure customers have all the information needed at their fingertips from booking, to check-in, and post-trip. Dynamic cross-sell strategies allow us to drive high attach rates with other travel products offered by our partners, generating incremental bookings and boosting the value of each trip, and abandoned search and welcome series ensures customers understand the value of our partners’ travel platforms and stay loyal to our partners’ brands.
Personalized content leveraged throughout our emails, delivering a unique experience for the consumer. Our personalized email communications ensure each customer has all the information they need throughout their travels, easy ways to contact our customer loyalty team for assistance, and suggest travel destinations based on their personal travel preferences. This adds a level of convenience to the consumer experience and drives engagement with our partners’ brands.
Utilizing AI is quickly becoming a cornerstone of email marketing. Using artificial intelligence allows our marketing teams to quickly drive innovation through A/B experimentation. In testing, we have found it to be very effective at driving results and are developing new ways to leverage this emerging technology as email marketing services continue to expand.
Segmenting audiences based on previous engagement data to deliver new messages to the customer and drive continued engagement with our white label platforms.
Robust reporting enables us to continually optimize the performance of our campaigns, and keep partners informed of success and areas of opportunity at every phase of a partnership.

Putting AI to the test through A/B experimentation

Recently, our data science team put AI to the test by launching an A/B test on all platforms where they used AI to translate hotel room titles from English to Spanish. During the test, customers were randomly served one of the following experiences on our travel booking platforms:

1.) Our traditional platform without the use of AI translation
2.) Our new platform using AI translation for room titles

The team at Rocket Travel by Agoda measured many factors including conversion, revenue, and customer support issues. We found there to be a large decrease in the need for customer support with the use of AI technology to translate room titles. For the version where travel customers were served the AI version of our travel booking platforms, customers were able to read their room titles, they knew what they were selecting without any unwanted surprises and they had a better booking experience overall.Not only did this test using AI technology improve the overall user experience, it also outperformed human translations in certain cases. Upon conclusion of the A/B experimentation, customer support issues decreased 23%, conversions increased by .15%, booking increased by 1.44% and total revenue increased by 1.8%.

About the author

Tim Marron is the VP of Product with more than 10 years of experience leading data-obsessed product management teams across multiple industries. He has led numerous A|B testing functions and has a passion for applying scientific thinking and data to software development.

Dr. Brent Holmes, Senior Data Scientist for Rocket Travel by Agoda, assisted in developing this piece.

September 25, 2023

The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Travel

Rocket Travel by Agoda has been using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in many different facets of our organization to contribute to the success of our white-label solutions and other partnerships. In one recent A/B test utilizing AI to translate room titles, we saw customer support issues decrease by 23%, conversions increase by .15%, booking increase by 1.44% and revenue increase by 1.8% for all partners.

How is Rocket Travel by Agoda using AI?

The use of AI in the travel industry is proving to be highly innovative and beneficial through automating development, content generation and conversational interfaces. Omri Morgenshtern, Chief Executive Officer at Agoda, recently discussed how AI can increase our development velocity allowing for more experimentation, more features and a better understanding of the travel consumer. At Rocket Travel by Agoda, the use of AI technology through experimentation is shining a light on how our developers can better improve our white-lable solutions for our travel loyalty brands.

In-depth consumer journeys drive engagement throughout every phase of the customer lifecycle. A robust suite of transactional emails ensure customers have all the information needed at their fingertips from booking, to check-in, and post-trip. Dynamic cross-sell strategies allow us to drive high attach rates with other travel products offered by our partners, generating incremental bookings and boosting the value of each trip, and abandoned search and welcome series ensures customers understand the value of our partners’ travel platforms and stay loyal to our partners’ brands.
Personalized content leveraged throughout our emails, delivering a unique experience for the consumer. Our personalized email communications ensure each customer has all the information they need throughout their travels, easy ways to contact our customer loyalty team for assistance, and suggest travel destinations based on their personal travel preferences. This adds a level of convenience to the consumer experience and drives engagement with our partners’ brands.
Utilizing AI is quickly becoming a cornerstone of email marketing. Using artificial intelligence allows our marketing teams to quickly drive innovation through A/B experimentation. In testing, we have found it to be very effective at driving results and are developing new ways to leverage this emerging technology as email marketing services continue to expand.
Segmenting audiences based on previous engagement data to deliver new messages to the customer and drive continued engagement with our white label platforms.
Robust reporting enables us to continually optimize the performance of our campaigns, and keep partners informed of success and areas of opportunity at every phase of a partnership.

Putting AI to the test through A/B experimentation

Recently, our data science team put AI to the test by launching an A/B test on all platforms where they used AI to translate hotel room titles from English to Spanish. During the test, customers were randomly served one of the following experiences on our travel booking platforms:

1.) Our traditional platform without the use of AI translation
2.) Our new platform using AI translation for room titles

The team at Rocket Travel by Agoda measured many factors including conversion, revenue, and customer support issues. We found there to be a large decrease in the need for customer support with the use of AI technology to translate room titles. For the version where travel customers were served the AI version of our travel booking platforms, customers were able to read their room titles, they knew what they were selecting without any unwanted surprises and they had a better booking experience overall.Not only did this test using AI technology improve the overall user experience, it also outperformed human translations in certain cases. Upon conclusion of the A/B experimentation, customer support issues decreased 23%, conversions increased by .15%, booking increased by 1.44% and total revenue increased by 1.8%.