Business challenge

Aiming to delight its visitors and strengthen its global reputation as a holiday hotspot, EPEL-CACT wanted to deliver the equivalent of a personal concierge, helping each person fully experience Lanzarote.

Transformation

EPEL-CACT is using a cognitive mobile app that uses natural language processing to converse with the user and understand the intent behind the words.

Results

Higher visitor satisfaction

and growing numbers of tourists from Europe and around the world

Competitive advantage

over other tourist destinations, setting new standards for tourism worldwide

Continual improvements

to the visitor experience made possible through collection and analysis of tourist interactions

Business challenge story

More resources for tourists needed

Millions of tourists visit Lanzarote every year, spending their holidays enjoying the island’s beaches, historical sites, local culture and unique volcanic landscapes. The tourists’ experience was fairly typical—relying on outdated travel books, websites that may or may not have been maintained, and simple word of mouth to cobble together sightseeing—which meant they could miss key attractions or waste time on sites they didn’t really want to see. EPEL-CACT wanted to move beyond the typical experience, differentiate itself as a world-class destination and set a new standard for the tourist experience. The organization sought a technology solution that would act as a personal guide to the island, helping tourists immerse themselves in local culture, dining, history and attractions.

“Cognitive computing is transforming tourism, helping visitors experience more local food, culture, history and nature.”

—Jose Juan Lorenzo, Chief Executive Officer, EPEL – Centers of Art, Culture and Tourism

Transformation story

Natural language processing

EPEL-CACT is using a cognitive mobile app to give tourists a personalized, fully immersive tour of Lanzarote, using their own tastes and preferences as a guide. The app uses natural language processing to converse with the user and understand the intent behind the words. Learning from each interaction, the app offers individually tailored, location-based recommendations—pointing history buffs to museums, for example, or outdoor types to hiking trails.

Results story

Increased tourist satisfaction

EPEL-CACT is changing the tourist experience with a cognitive mobile app, developed by IBM Business Partner Red Skios S.A., that gives visitors a personalized tour of the island that is perfectly suited to their tastes and preferences. Using natural language processing (NLP) and speech-to-text capabilities, the app can converse with users and understand the meaning, intent and sentiment behind their words. Collecting these interactions in a central profile, the app starts to learn about the user, including personal interests, preferences, sightseeing style and more—gaining insights from both explicit and implicit intentions. The app then provides relevant recommendations for nearby attractions as tourists explore the island, pulling data from TripAdvisor and other social media sites, weather services, and geolocation devices that track their location. For example, if the visitor is interested in outdoor attractions, the system might recommend a nearby trail, suggest a mountain bike rental shop and find a popular local restaurant near the end of the trail, with the ability to book reservations centrally. Or, in the case of rain, the app might offer an indoor venue that matches the user’s interests, such as a museum. The system learns from every interaction; therefore, the more a specific tourist uses the app, the more accurate the recommendations become.

About EPEL - Centers of Arts, Culture and Tourism of Lanzarote

The Centers of Arts, Culture and Tourism (CACT) of Lanzarote manages tourism on the easternmost island of the Canary Islands. Referred to as EPEL-CACT, the organization strives to highlight and protect the island's natural beauty by promoting tourism and channeling the profits into public works.