The CEO of the largest European online travel company unveiled how the business is improving the experience of millions of travellers through the application of cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence solutions
Dana Dunne explained that complex machine-based learning algorithms deployed on the Group’s booking platforms anticipate customers’ needs and preferences, which allows the company to tailor products and services to each individual traveller
Travel industry leaders gathered at the 2019 ITB Congress in Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show hosting over 110,000 visitors, where eDreams ODIGEO Chief Executive Officer Dana Dunne, took centre stage and was interviewed by Damon Embling, World Affairs reporter at Euronews.
The interview, which took place the main arena of ITB Berlin Congress 2019, addressed the future of individualisation in the travel sector. Dana Dunne explained that the industry is moving away from the classic one-size-fits-all approach to a completely personalised model, where travellers are provided with the travel products that are most suitable to them. According to Dunne, “If you came to our websites five years ago, everyone would see the exact same results. Now, you see different results, tailored to what you need and prefer”.
Dunne also unveiled that in some parts of the business “machines are making decisions that humans can’t. Machines autonomously look at data and hypothesize on their own; they set-up and run tests, and look at the results without any human intervention” he specified that “we are on the path to build this in more and more areas of the business”. Dunne also explained that the company is focused on finding the best talent from all over the world to continue enhancing its machine-based learning capabilities.
The eDreams ODIGEO Chief pointed out that the Group’s investment in machine-base learning “is not just about the booking experience, but also the post-booking experience. We believe in end-to-end service and want to offer a great travel experience, and we use technology for that. We push ourselves to be the best”.
Asked to which extent machines will replace humans in the travel experience, Dana Dunne highlighted that travel is ultimately a human experience that is meaningful to people “the reason we travel is for experiences. Machines will help us get what we want more quickly and easily, but travel is about experiencing, connecting with different cultures and people. That experience is us, it is human. Nothing will replace that”.
Looking ahead, Dunne added: “individualisation goes from strength to strength. We are in the early days of it but we foresee it will bring much more personalised experiences. And that means that it will save us time, which we will invest in other things, like being with family and friends and ideally, travelling”.
About eDreams ODIGEO
eDreams ODIGEO is one of the largest online travel companies in the world and one of the largest European e-commerce companies. Through its four leading online brands (eDreams, GO Voyages, Opodo, Travellink) and the meta search engine Liligo provides the best deals on scheduled flights, low-cost airlines, hotels, cruises, car rentals, dynamic packages, packages of holidays and travel insurance to facilitate travel, make them more accessible and with a better value for money for the more than 18.5 million customers served in 43 markets. eDreams ODIGEO is listed on the Spanish stock market.