MakeMyTrip to deploy AI, chatbots

Move is aimed to get bookings from smaller towns

August 17, 2018 10:14 pm | Updated 10:51 pm IST - CHENNAI

Online travel firm MakeMyTrip Ltd. (MMT) will be deploying emerging technologies to reach out to residents of smaller towns to grow its hotel reservation business.

“We will be investing in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, chatbots, voice and national language to reach out” to customers in smaller towns, said Parikshit Choudhury, chief business officer — India Hotels, Holidays and Alternate Accommodation, MMT.

“While, people from big cities are using smart phones for making hotel reservations, those in smaller towns prefer to go to hotels directly for reservations. We will deploy latest technologies to target this group to grow hotel reservation business,” he said.

Explaining further, he said currently Alexa (a cloud-based voice service) was being used on a pilot basis to make hotel reservations. Later, it would be extended to other national languages.

To reach out those in category B,C and D towns, he said Chatbot would be integrated with WhatsApp.

Even though MMT gets 80,000 to 90,000 enquiries per day, about 60,000 to 70,000 rooms are booked (net of cancellations) through the company’s website. “Only 15% of the hotel bookings are done using online which shows there is huge potential,” he said.

On the overseas expansion, he said it would be focusing on hotels in South East Asian countries, Middle East, European countries where the Indians largely travel.

To make utmost use of the rooms by travellers during day time, Mr. Choudhury said MMT had designed a day use package for hotels in Tirupati, wherein rooms would be rented out only during day time. “If it is successful, it would be expanded to other places. It is a long way off,” he said.

In order to enable guests to enjoy same kind of hospitality in all the budget hotels across the country, MMT would be offering GoStay certificates to budget hotels that met certain minimum quality criteria.

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