BCD Travel extends its trip management platform to voice-enabled devices
UTRECHT, The Netherlands, July 31, 2018 – Business travelers serviced by global travel management company BCD Travel are seeing some of the most advanced digital technologies from consumer retail extended to corporate travelers to enhance the business trip.
BCD is extending its powerful trip management platform, TripSource®, into cloud-based voice services. The move offers business travelers the convenience of a voice-activated trip management experience on any Alexa-enabled device, such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Plus or Echo Dot—as well as any smart phone with the Alexa app loaded.
TripSource and Alexa-enabled devices can use the new Alexa skill to request specific details about upcoming trips, including arrival and departure dates and times, hotel confirmation information and even the address for rental car pick up.
“We want to offer business travelers access to trip information using their favorite tools and devices wherever they are—the office, at home or on the go,” said Yannis Karmis, Senior Vice President of Product Planning and Development. “Virtual voice technology gives us the opportunity to seamlessly integrate natural-language technologies into our TripSource platform and expand our self-service capabilities.”
BCD utilized a team of voice user-experience designers and engineers to humanize the experience. BCD’s TripSource Alexa skill expands intelligent communications beyond email by introducing the ability to add “nicknames” to the virtual personal assistant — so family members can stay updated too. For example, the kids might say: “Alexa, ask TripSource when mom’s flight is arriving,” and the system recognizes the identity of mom.
Recent research suggests that human interaction with voice-recognition technologies is on the verge of exploding. By 2020, over 200 billion searches per month will be voice based, according to a July 2018 Phocuswright report, “The State of Voice in Travel.” Sixty percent of U.S. travelers already use voice to access personal information.
As the service evolves, BCD will extend voice capabilities to planning and booking—not only on Alexa, but other virtual assistants such as Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri. The company will continue to deliver on those throughout the remainder of this year and into next.
About BCD Travel
BCD Travel helps companies make the most of what they spend on travel. We give travelers innovative tools that keep them safe and productive, and help them make good choices on the road. We partner with travel and procurement leaders to simplify the complexities of business travel, drive savings and satisfaction, and move whole companies toward their goals. In short, we help our clients travel smart and achieve more. We make this happen in 109 countries with almost 13,800 creative, committed and experienced people. And it’s how we maintain the industry’s most consistent client retention rate, with 2018 sales of US$27.1 billion. For more information, visit www.bcdtravel.com.
About BCD Group
BCD Group is a market leader in the travel industry. The privately-owned company was founded in 1975 by John Fentener van Vlissingen and consists of BCD Travel (global corporate travel management), BCD Meetings & Events (global meetings and events agency), Travix (online travel: CheapTickets, Vliegwinkel, BudgetAir, Flugladen and Vayama), Park ‘N Fly (off-airport parking) and Airtrade (consolidation and fulfillment). BCD Group employs over 14,900 people and operates in 109 countries with total sales of US$29.8 billion in 2018, including US$10.7 billion partner sales. For more information, visit www.bcdgroup.com.