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Facebook Messenger Gets New Travel Bot

Facebook Messenger Gets New Travel Bot
Flight search engine Skyscanner has jumped on the bot bandwagon with the launch of a new Messenger bot.

(CCM) — On Wednesday, Skyscanner launched a Facebook Messenger bot to help users plan their next trip conversationally. Users will be able to "interact with the bot to ask for live flight prices, as well as to ask Skyscanner for destination inspiration," explained the company in a blog post. "The flight search bot responds with answers to user travel queries in a natural conversational manner. Messenger users can then follow a link to our site to book their chosen travel itinerary." The Messenger bot offers the company's flights API data as well as destination suggestions based on search trends and pricing, much like Skyscanner's "Everywhere" feature available online and in its apps. To get suggestions, users can respond "not sure" when asked where they're looking to visit. "The messaging economy and conversational search are areas which we believe are incredibly important evolutionary features for the travel industry," said Skyscanner's Director Filip Filipov. "We want to make travel search as easily accessible as possible and believe that the launch of our Messenger bot will allow more people to search for their travel in a fun and informative way." The bot is already available for English-speaking users, but Skyscanner plans to roll out more languages eventually.

This is not the first time Skyscanner has adopted a more conversational way to use its technology. Back in November of last year, the company announced that it had developed an Alexa skill for Amazon's Echo products. In March, the skill launched to the public. “We are thrilled to be the first travel search engine to integrate into Alexa,” said David Low, Head of Developer Advocacy at Skyscanner, in a statement. “We believe conversational integration is an important evolution feature for the travel industry, and now, with our inclusion in Alexa, we are making travel planning even easier.”

Photo: © dennizn.
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