Monday, June 24, 2024’s inaugural WTM showcase surge in European travel market

In its first appearance at World Travel Market (WTM) 2023, Group, a global leader in travel services, laid out its inroads into the European market and the transformative role of artificial intelligence. The event, held from 6-8 November in London, provided a platform for Group to articulate its vision of reshaping the travel experience with advanced AI technology and to solidify its position as an emerging key player in the European travel market.

Boon Sian Chai, Managing Director and Vice President for International Markets at Group took centre stage at the event’s Technology Summit. Chai discussed the pivotal role of AI in revolutionizing the travel sector, enhancing customer service through intelligent chatbots, and improving overall service experiences while also touching on the resurgence of outbound travel from China.
The introduction of TripGenie, Group’s AI assistant, earlier this year marked a significant enhancement in the company’s technology suite. TripGenie has notably improved user engagement and conversion rates by personalizing travel experiences and simplifying travel planning. The Group plans to further enhance TripGenie’s features, augmenting its capability to provide bespoke travel arrangements.

“Our AI-driven tools, such as our curated travel lists, Trip.Trends and Trip.Best, transcend mere technological evolution,” Chai stated. “They foster a sense of community and enrich the travel experience, adding a personal touch to each journey our customers undertake.”

Chai highlighted the impressive impact of “Trip.Best,” which has markedly increased traffic and bookings for partner hotels, and the success of “Trip Moments,” which has actively involved a substantial segment of the app’s users in creating and sharing content. The Group’s strides in AI for customer service, celebrated for their accuracy in understanding user queries and high rates of resolving inquiries autonomously, have further cemented their dedication to improving customer interactions. Group’s Strategic Growth in the European Market

Andy Washington, General Manager for Europe at Group, emphasized the company’s strategic commitment to integrating with local cultures and travel ecosystems.

“Our comprehensive, all-in-one app ensures a personalized journey for every traveller, reflecting the unique character of each destination and catering to the diverse preferences of our customers. It encompasses a wide array of transportation options, accommodations, and local experiences, all while championing responsible travel and sustainability,” he noted.

Although still in the growth stage across Europe, Group’s bookings are witnessing a notable increase, signaling an expansion of its influence across the continent. The company’s data reveals a significant uptick in travel activity from Europe, with the UK experiencing a 67% increase in flight bookings and a 62% rise in hotel reservations from 2022 to 2023. This figure dramatically eclipses pre-pandemic levels with a staggering 604% growth in flights compared to 2019. Similar upward trends are evident across other key European markets, including Germany, France, Spain, and Italy, which collectively have seen a 40% rise in flight bookings and a 60% increase in hotel bookings year over year.

As WTM London 2023 wrapped up, Group delivered a clear statement: technology and personalization are at the forefront of travel’s future. The company’s active role at the event underscores its dedication to driving travel forward with innovative approaches and a deep understanding of the burgeoning European market.

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