Corporate Travel Management News and Tips

4 Ways Voice Search is Impacting the Travel Industry

April 20, 2018 | For Travel Managers, For Travelers

It’s no secret that artificial intelligence, machine learning, and voice-activated assistants are becoming the norm in American households. But they’re not stopping at home. This artificial intelligence is extending in to the business realm, including companies who need corporate travel services.

If you’re like most travelers, you type your destination in to a search engine rather than going to a specific website. Because of this trend, companies in the accommodations and hospitality industry rely heavily on search engines for their bookings, which means their vulnerable to new search trends like voice search. 

Here are four ways this new trend is making waves the travel industry.


1.    The Ease-of-Use Encourages Travelers to Book Through Voice Search

What was once thought to be easier than physically pressing buttons, the act of typing on a screen or smart phone has become burdensome. Katherine Watier determined that humans can speak 150 words per minute (WPM), as compared to their ability to type 40 WPM. Obviously, the speed of voice search means they’ll get their answers nearly three times faster than if they typed it in to a search engine. Plus, this hands-free interaction frees them up to multi-task.


2.    Why Local Information Matters to Travelers Using Voice Search

Rather than turning to a search engine to find local accommodations, restaurants, and amenities while on a trip, travelers are asking their phones to do the search for them. To respond to tourists’ searches, local businesses need to keep their listing up to date if they want new business.

These same businesses should also consider optimizing for local searches. In their listing, they should reference any well-known landmarks or nearby attractions that could help gain visibility when travelers are trying to find the business. Not only will this help travelers find the business when they’re out and about, but it’ll also make your listing rank better.


3.    Travelers Phrases Differ from Typing Queries

Because voice text is quicker than typing, studies show that travelers are asking search engines longer questions in a more conversational way. For example, someone might type in “cheap hotels in San Francisco,” but verbally ask, “What are the cheapest hotels in San Francisco?”. Because they naturally speak to technology on a more human level, they expect it to respond back with the same tone.

More importantly, travel companies need to optimize their sites for those longer, conversational keywords. The best way to do this is by crafting content on a Frequently Asked Questions page that phrases questions how searchers would verbally ask them.


4.    Travelers Are Still Seeking Human Interaction

As ironic as it seems, those using voice search don’t want human interaction to be completely eliminated from the equation. They want to be able to quickly get answers, but from there, they expect to have real, human relationships and conversations.

Customer service and staff are a critical part to companies in the travel industry. Voice search technology is not to a point where it can completely remove human touch or feel like completely natural conversation. Although chat bots and machine learning are continuing to improve, this technology can only take a searcher so far before a real person is needed on the other end.

Voice search is improving the search and booking experience, but ultimately, travelers still need human support. At Adelman Travel, you’ll have a dedicated team of representatives to take care of your corporate travel needs. We’ve been in the industry for over three decades, supporting clients with travelers ranging from 50 to over 70,000. Get in touch with us today to speak to a specialist about the right solution for you.