“We are focused on giving our customers more of what they are asking for”

Laura Houldsworth, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Booking.com, sheds light on APAC travellers’ shifting priorities in the face of challenges and the transformative impact of AI in the travel industry.

How is the industry showing that travel is a priority in spite of obstacles such as rising living costs? What are the main priorities of travellers today?
Close to three-quarters (73%) of APAC travellers believe they are the best version of themselves while on holiday. Underscoring the profound influence of travel on personal growth and well-being, over two-thirds (72%) aspire to incorporate aspects of their vacation personas into their daily lives upon returning home.
We are seeing a rising demand for water-centric travel in APAC, with the consensus amongst 72% of travellers that being close proximity to water instantly makes them feel more relaxed.

What role is AI playing in the travel industry right now? What are some trends that you’ve observed that you think will continue to develop in the future?
The latest innovation Booking.com has been working on is our AI Trip Planner. Leveraging the unique framework utilised by Booking.com’s existing AI and machine learning systems, the AI Trip planner is honed to recommend travel destinations, lodging choices, travel inspiration and itineraries to millions of platform users, at any time of the day. We are focused on giving our customers more of what they are asking for, which includes interactive and in-depth itineraries, and additional conventional search funnel capabilities (e.g. filters, integration with other verticals such as flights and attractions). At Booking.com, we use AI extensively to enhance interactions with both travellers and partners, working towards a single goal, that is enhancing the overall traveller experience.


Travel Confidence in The Face of New Realities 
Today from 1:00-1:30p.m.
Location: B2, Knowledge Theatre