The Ascott Limited (Ascott) has launched a generative artificial intelligence (AI) powered web chatbot to enhance the travel stages of planning and booking as part of the guest journey.
Named after Ascott’s mascot, Cubby, the chatbot is designed to play the role of a ‘travel buddy’ to all guests – it provides travel insights including destination highlights, accommodation recommendations, must-visit attractions, suggestions for shopping and adventure activities, and more.
Currently in its test-bedding stage, the ChatGPT-fuelled chatbot is built on Microsoft OpenAI and Azure Services, and leverages real-time data using Bing search and Azure services, alongside data and insights accessed via Ascott’s global website.
Ascott’s managing director for brand & marketing, Tan Bee Leng, said: “Cubby, with its AI prowess, taps into a vast treasure trove of data, enabling fast analysis of travel preferences, trends, and recommendations; from suggesting hidden gems to tailoring itineraries that match specific areas of interests. Every interaction with Cubby is set to unlock a realm of limitless possibilities in AI-driven travel planning.”
For a start, Cubby will be supporting Ascott’s live chat agents, so that the agents can focus on responding to more complex inquiries which require deeper and more thorough engagement with guests.
Cubby has the ability to generate personalised itineraries according to user input, which can be customised and amended according to the destination(s) selected, length of stay, travel preferences, and other criteria. The chatbot is also able to share travel tips as well as health and safety information alongside advice on visa requirements, travel budgets and packing checklists.
In anticipation of evolving guest expectations, Cubby will become multichannel in its later phase, seamlessly integrating with different applications for greater convenience. Improved language capabilities will also be implemented to ensure that Cubby is optimised for local use. This integration will allow Cubby to respond instantly across channels, using the guest’s preferred language and platform while handling an immense volume of guest inquiries simultaneously and consistently.