Business challenge

The founders of WayBlazer wanted a way to understand all the unstructured social, review, image and other data that travelers were seeking.

Transformation

The founders of WayBlazer wanted a way to understand all the unstructured social, review, image and other data that travelers were seeking.

Results

146% increase

In direct bookings in the proof of concept (POC)

107% improvement

in user engagement by providing a more personal experience, based on the POC

Boosts revenue

by securing more commissions from more bookings

Business challenge story

Unstructured data understanding needed

Many business-to-business (B2B) companies in travel are focused on driving traffic to a hotel’s website but are not as focused on closing the deal. To improve the number of bookings from site users, websites must make it easier for users to find the options they want. But it’s difficult to show relevant and personalized travel recommendations for each user because of the unstructured nature of the text and data that comprise written reviews, photos and points of interest. The founders of WayBlazer wanted to build a comprehensive and personal travel research and booking service for travel providers, but they needed a way to understand all the unstructured social, review, image and other data that travelers were seeking. And they needed a system that could make and rank relevant suggestions rather than simply listing options.

“Cognitive search will not only find you the perfect hotel but present it in the perfect manner.”

—Scott Goldberg, Vice President, WayBlazer

Transformation story

Cognitive online travel application

WayBlazer teamed with IBM to develop an online travel application and APIs with IBM® Watson™ technology and natural language processing (NLP). It does more than just return a list of travel options that meet basic parameters. The WayBlazer Cognitive Conversion API uses cognitive computing to interpret unstructured social sentiment, images and reviews across thousands of sites and then return specific answers and recommendations for requests such as, “I want a kid-friendly hotel in Ireland with access to a great golf course.” WayBlazer maximizes conversion and revenue for its customers by delivering the most relevant information to each traveler. The company packages the solution as APIs or as a solution as a service (SaaS) to be integrated with branded interfaces for travel companies.

Results story

Easier and more personal booking process

Game-changing outcome—Online travel booking is a fragmented experience in which users research 20 or more websites on average, and customers are not presented with relevant or personalized results. The WayBlazer solution is game-changing because it does more than just return a list of options that meet basic parameters. It lets travel providers offer their own branded booking interface that identifies traveler interests and researches thousands of sites to provide relevant and personalized hotel recommendations, images, content and local area knowledge in a way not possible before.

Before-after impact—Prior to the POC, most travel providers used booking interfaces with little or no personalization or information from external sites. Customers often booked through other sites that charge a commission to the travel provider. Now, travel searching can be more relevant and personalized, which leads to more conversions, revenue and customer engagement.

Systems of cognitive discovery, engagement or decision making—The solution represents a system of engagement because it learns traveler interests and preferences and then uses those to provide personalized recommendations. The travel company or provider can analyze this information for insight into customer trends and to send customers personalized notifications of future events that match their interests. This helps large travel providers engage with customers in a more personal and unique way, which today’s travels increasingly seek.

About WayBlazer

WayBlazer is an Austin, Texas-based company that built a cognitive online travel host to provide comprehensive options and personalized recommendations. The company offers its system through application programming interfaces (APIs) or as a web and app interface for travel companies that are booking hotels or want to add revenue from booking hotels.