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Quantum leap into a new kind of machine learning

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·21 February 2018
In a series of articles, starting today, theoretical physicist Joerg Esser ponders the question: is quantum machine learning the next step in the AI journey and should businesses be worried yet? When I sat my doctoral exam 20 years ago, I was asked about the potential impact of quantum computing and whether this theoretical idea would ever become a reality. At the time it was impossible to say, but ever since I have been following developments in this exciting field with interest.

Urban flying taxi to get lift off on a blockchain

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·20 February 2018
Pamela Whitby has been looking at applications for blockchain technology and hears that success is most likely in entirely new markets With the hype around blockchain in travel reaching fever pitch, why not toss something else into an already complicated equation – an initial coin offering (ICO) for an electrically charged flying urban taxi.
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5 sirens that could signal the wrong kind of change

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·19 February 2018
Embracing new technologies and strategies may seem like a good idea, but Tom Bacon is worried that, without clear direction, airlines could end up on the rocks With rapidly changing markets and technology, leaders in every industry are advising: ‘Embrace Change’. The travel industry is no different.
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Headwinds for online travel's big guns

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·15 February 2018
Wall Street prefers the term 'headwinds' to 'problems', and there are an awful lot of them in the travel stories coming out of brokers at the moment. The numbers show that the Big-Three, but especially Expedia, are being hit heavily by marketing and technology costs at a time of rising fears of the threats from the major tech groups - Amazon, Airbnb and Alphabet. Related Content: Total Revenue Management - Master the Bigger Picture - SixtImage: Primary Event: EyeforTravel Europe 2018Article type: Industry InsightChannels: Revenue and Data ManagementTags: Online TravelOTAsonline travel agentsmetasearchtechhotelFlightsTravelMarketingTechnologybookingExpenses
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Trainline: focused on efficiency and getting things done

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·14 February 2018
In an interview with Trainline's chief executive, Pamela Whitby hears how the online platform for rail travel continues to innovate with a customer first approach In the four years since Clare Gilmartin has been CEO of Trainline, quite a lot has happened. The online platform for rail travel now has 50 million visits a month, operates in 36 countries in 14 languages, has partnerships with 144 different rail carriers, most recently with Japan rail, and has expanded into coach travel. There has been significant investment into mobile, which now accounts for 80% of visits, as well as AI innovation, and most recently voice.

Squeezed and exploited': independent travel firms, the new OTA victims?

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·12 February 2018
Back in 2015, when the fight back of the big hotel chains to drive direct bookings started gathering momentum, a question hung in the air. Without the high commissions and restrictive rate parity agreements, which had helped the two biggest online travel agents into a position of duopolistic domination over the hotel industry, could they really survive? Related Content: Taking on Google, Airbnb et al: what an experience!Image: Primary Event: EyeforTravel North America 2018Article type: Industry InsightChannels: Distribution StrategiesTags: OTATraveldirect bookingshotelonline travel agentsbookingsIndependent travel businesses
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TUI gives artificial intelligence a big tick, but what next?

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration · 8 February 2018
From being one of the first to dabble in blockchain technology to driving forward with AI-fuelled partnerships, the TUI Group is on a mission to remain a travel heavy weight. In a recent move, the world’s biggest travel company has signed a deal with Seattle-based AI firm Utrip, to up its game in offering a deeply personalised experience throughout the customer journey.
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Why Google is banking on flight delays

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration · 7 February 2018
Flight disruption happens more often than we like to believe and numerous companies are tapping into that, writes Sally White So you thought flight delays were just one of the nuisance factors of 21st century travel? Think on! Given the commercial, economic and environmental (fuel-burn in catch-up speeding) impact, flight delays are the subject of a substantial body of scientific literature, predictive models and apps. After all, 36% of European flights and 31% of US flights are delayed, according to one of the latest studies. If you think that it is bad, only 18% of flights leave Beijing on time! So, this is no small matter.

Transforming the guest experience with tech

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration · 6 February 2018
Apps, chatbots, RFID, in-room devices, and the Internet of Things all can help to improve guest satisfaction but there is a fine line to walk Hotels often feel held hostage by TripAdvisor reviews, but property apps, digital concierges and more are helping hotels reach the guest and react far better to their needs, finds a recent report from EyeforTravel. Hotels can now monitor and track guests around their properties using installed apps that can access the guest’s location or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tied to keycards. They can then log every guest request through AI-driven concierges operating through chatbots or smart speakers. This means that the guest no longer needs to ring down to front desk. The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), which can be controlled either from a single device in the guest’s room or from an app, means the hotel can now know the guest’s preferred room temperature, what entertainment they watch, and when items need to be replaced.
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Getting visual with RM

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration · 5 February 2018
Tom Bacon outlines how new visualisation techniques can give revenue management a boost Revenue management is not easy. Maintaining complex, sophisticated systems requires RM analysts with an often tough-to-find mix of market knowledge, business acumen, analytical and communication skills. Many travel companies invest heavily in training and recruitment for this high impact and strategic department. New visualisation techniques, however, can further improve RM performance, broaden understanding, and invite new perspectives. “Visualisation” is now a common topic of discussion at revenue management conferences.
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Cryptocribs, the new cool kid on the blockchain block

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·31 January 2018
When Erasmus Elsner first tested the proposal for Cryptocribs, his blockchain-based answer to Airbnb, he was looking for honest feedback. Inspired by Pieter Levels, the founder of Nomad List, who video recorded himself while building his website, and then took sometimes 'crippling feedback' on Reddit,� Elsner likes to put himself 'out there to be destroyed'. Related Content: Blockchain blockbuster: is the travel industry's invisible battle over?Image: Primary Event: EyeforTravel North America 2018Article type: Industry InsightChannels: Mobile and TechnologyTags: CryptocribsBlockchaincrypto-currenciesLettingdataAirbnbTravelTechnology
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Why Japan Airlines is striving to be more than 'just a mode of transport

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·31 January 2018
For years the airline business has been highly commoditised but as travellers demand more that is changing. Japan Airlines shares insights with Pamela Whitby Back in 2014, Korean Air hired a catering truck and set out to serve up its award-winning inflight meals to business people at certain city venues in Houston. Twice winner of the prestigious Mercury Award for inflight meals, the airline’s aim was to promote non-stop flights between the US’s most populous southern city and Seoul by showcasing some of the country’s delicious cuisine. Among the well-known dishes the airline served up on solid ground were bibimbap, a freshly cooked mixed rice dish and bulgogi, its barbequed, marinated beef.
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China voice tech rises over the over the big four

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·29 January 2018
Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft are all in the race to develop the ultimate voice assistant but Chinese firms have the edge, finds a new EyeforTravel report China is the ideal environment for developing and deploying voice technology, and this is propelling local players like Baidu and iFlytek to become world leaders, finds a new EyeforTravel report. Given the size of Chinese travel market, this is something that brands can no longer ignore.

Food and travel: go together like China and a dragon?

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·24 January 2018
China's rising star in travel, Meituan-Dianping, has kicked off 2018 with two moves - food and transport - that reflect its ambitions to target both domestic and international travellers with a wider range of services. 'As we already attract 320 million active buyers annually, we believe we are poised to quickly become an industry leader,' says Liang Chen, who is senior vice president of Meituan-Dianping, and also president of Meituan Travel, the hotel & travel business group which launched in May last year.
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The smart hotel that talks back is the future

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·23 January 2018
We identify some Dos and Don'ts from a new EyeforTravel report which finds that conversational interfaces have the potential to help hotels improve the guest experience and drive revenues too Hotels are only just beginning to deploy chatbots and smart speakers, but these early experiments herald the beginning of a major shift in guest communications finds a recent report from EyeforTravel.
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Digital & Data Strategies for Travel 2017 Round-up

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·22 January 2018
What exactly will the travel organization of the future look like? Attendees from around the globe came to EyeforTravel’s Digital & Data Strategies for Travel 2017 summit to find out. Read the free round-up report to see what their conclusions were … More than 250 digital and data professionals descended on Amsterdam, one of Europe’s most innovative cities, in November 2017 to get to grips with the strategies that would future-proof their organizations.
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Hey Siri, can voice technology really change the travel industry?

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·17 January 2018
A new report from EyeforTravel takes a look at the state of play and finds that travel brands need to tune into personalisation When you have the biggest names in tech battling it out to shout the loudest about development in voice, then maybe, just maybe it’s time to listen. Yes, we are talking Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and we are talking soaring sales too. By some accounts 24 million speakers were shipped in 2017, a 300% rise on the previous year. Amazon led the pack with Echo Dot being its top-selling product, sell-out product for two years in a row.
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The marriage of RM & merchandising: a logical next step for airlines

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·16 January 2018
The notion of ‘right product, at right time and at right price’ may be something airlines understand only too well but they still aren’t getting it right. Tom Bacon has some suggestions Today many airlines recognise the tremendous opportunity of personalised e-merchandising. Many are even looking to leading e-tailers for inspiration, and are trying to understand, for example, how they can engage with online customers as effectively as the likes of Amazon.
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Smart luggage ignites fears over safety

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·15 January 2018
For many a travel tech start-up, meeting the needs of the cool traveller may seem like a smart move, but not when baggage blows up! Sally White reports As 2018 opens, hi-tech is losing more than a bit of its lustre, thanks to everything from Uber, Silicon Valley’s fall from grace and Apple admitting it slowed down old phones. Now the cool traveller is being hit with a ban on smart luggage by just about all the world’s airlines. The International Air Travel Association (IATA) has announced a restriction for its members from today on the grounds that the luggage may just not be safe. The problem is the lithium batteries.

2017: the most important year for travel tech since 1994?

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·11 January 2018
From AI-driven chatbots to the arrival of blockchain-based cryptocurrency fuelled competitors to Airbnb, last year was a pivotal one, says Mezi. In 2016, Mezi, a startup that originally launched as a broad-based AI-power virtual assistant pivoted to focus on travel. EyeforTravel caught up with Johnny Thorsen, the company’s VP of Travel Strategy & Partnerships, who believes that 2017 was the most important year since the arrival of the Netscape Internet browser in 1994.
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Why airlines need to segment smarter

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·10 January 2018
People travel for many different reasons but often airlines don’t go far enough in meeting their specific needs, writes Tom Bacon Marketing textbooks generally speak of customer segmentation based on demographics. We are talking millennials vs baby boomers, singles vs young families, affluent vs the budget or, perhaps, value conscious. Some marketing firms track 20 or more ‘psychographic’ segments that exhibit different buying habits and propensities.

3 routes to data science savvy

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration · 8 January 2018
Since the 'big data is like teenage sex...' quote from Duke University Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Economics Dan Ariely went viral in 2013, the industry has come a long way. What they call it might vary, but any company likely to survive in the world of travel tech, is doing data science in some form or other. It's also widely agreed that the term 'big data' doesn't really cut it.
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Trump 'lessons' in what and what not to do!

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration · 5 January 2018
In late November 2016 Tom Bacon penned a story with a headline that asked what lessons revenue managers could take from the US president’s election campaign. After a turbulent year in office, he shares an opinion on what he knows now Before this first month of 2018 is out, the first anniversary of Donald Trump as President of the United States will be upon us.
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Why airports should turn to tech in 2018

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration · 4 January 2018
As airports became increasingly overcrowded last year, IATA said that investing in technology rather than infrastructure could provide an answer Airport saturation is now a universal complaint, as air traveller numbers soar. From Heathrow to Mumbai, Dublin, Istanbul and Dubai, aviation is bursting at the seams as the summer of 2017 showed very clearly. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has been warning of problems caused by the lack of expansion in airport infrastructure to cope with increased demand. Only 43% of global traffic departs from slot-coordinated airports!
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'Wellness tourism' is fasting growing travel sector, says Lonely Planet

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration · 2 January 2018
Looking for a new audience to target? Travellers heading to foreign lands for a healthy experience may be the answer Feeling the need to recover from New Year overindulgence? Unsurprisingly, in our stressed world, wellness tourism is, says Lonely Planet, the industry’s fastest growing sector with a 10% rise this year making it a plus $500bn market. Within that, the specialist medical segment is growing even more rapidly, as travellers attempt to cut bills or waiting times. Forecasts vary, but suggest that this is rising at around 20% annually and is currently worth $45 -$72bn.

2 top 2017 distribution debates: the buzz about blockchain and Google grumbles

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·21 December 2017
It’s been a year of fun and games at EyeforTravel in the ever-shifting travel tech landscape, but two really interesting and still evolving stories stood out, writes Pamela Whitby From the rise of AI-driven data science, to the exploding market for experiences, trends in alternative accommodation, the opportunity for business travel, pricing versus value dilemmas and more, there have been many interesting travel tech developments in 2017.

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