Ascott Launches ChatGPT Powered ‘Cubby’ Chatbot – ‘Your AI Travel Buddy’

“Ascott is dedicated to nurturing Cubby’s growth, empowering it to deliver more personalized and engaging experiences with each interaction.”

Image by Paul Hanaoka

Ascott has announced the launching of a generative artificial intelligence (AI) powered web chatbot to enhance the travel stages of planning and booking as part of the guest journey.

Named after Ascott’s mascot, “Cubby”, the ChatGPT-fuelled chatbot, which is built on Microsoft OpenAI and Azure Services, is designed to play the role of a ‘travel buddy’ to all guests according to the brand which added that Cubby is equipped to provide travel insights including destination highlights, accommodation recommendations, must-visit attractions, suggestions for shopping and adventure activities, as well as the best ‘Instagram-worthy’ spots, to name a few.


 

Cubby also leverages real-time data, using Bing search, Azure Map (Nearby API), Azure Map (Weather API) and other Azure services, alongside data and insights accessed via Ascott’s global website DiscoverASR.com, to deliver on an improved, tech-enabled guest journey. Currently in its test-bedding stage where learnings are still key, this transformative initiative is part of Ascott’s mindful adoption of AI-driven guest-centric innovations to support its rapid growth trajectory[1].

“Cubby, with its AI prowess, taps into a vast treasure trove of data, enabling fast analysis of travel preferences, trends, and recommendations; from suggesting hidden gems to tailoring itineraries that match specific areas of interests,” said Tan Bee Leng, Ascott’s Managing Director for Brand & Marketing.

“As we journey alongside our valued guests in this shared adventure of experimentation, every interaction with Cubby is set to unlock a realm of limitless possibilities in AI-driven travel planning. Ascott is dedicated to nurturing Cubby’s growth, empowering it to deliver more personalised and engaging experiences with each interaction.”


 

Ascott said that, for a start, Cubby will be supporting Ascott’s live chat agents, so that the agents can focus on responding to more complex inquiries which require deeper and more thorough engagement with guests.

For guests who enjoy having an AI travel buddy that is online 24-7, Cubby has the ability to generate personalised itineraries according to user input. The itineraries can be customised and amended according to the destination(s) selected, length of stay, travel preferences, and other criteria. Travel tips as well as health and safety information alongside advice on visa requirements, travel budgets and packing checklists are some of the added knowledge Cubby is able to share.

Supporting the booking stage of the guest journey, recommendation of accommodation options and assistance with booking of preferred properties via deep link into the website booking engine are some of the many tasks Cubby has been taught to deliver on as well.

Ascott additionally released a quote from Cubby itself who said:

“Hello there, dear travellers! I’m Cubby, your lovable travel buddy powered by OpenAI ChatGPT. I’m thrilled to be a part of Ascott’s journey into the world of AI, helping to plan your amazing trips, craft memorable itineraries, and even assist with your accommodation bookings.

am still a young and curious cub, learning about this incredible world with each interaction we have. I promise to work extra hard to improve every day! So, let’s embark on this adventure together, hand in paw, and make unforgettable memories! Together, let’s create travel experiences that will warm your heart and leave you smiling like a happy cub too!”

Tan added: “From computer vision to natural language processing, Ascott recognises the pivotal role of AI technology in shaping the future of travel experiences. The adoption of generative AI tools to create advertising campaigns has provided us a shorter time-to-market, and the development of a chatbot has deepened our level of engagement with guests.

Our commitment to equipping our associates with knowledge and expertise in AI is not merely an investment; it’s a pledge to futureproof Ascott and create a new paradigm of personalised engagement with our valued guests. Embracing AI humbles us in the face of technology’s vast possibilities, empowering Ascott to learn, adapt, and evolve with the times, so that heartfelt hospitality and cutting-edge innovation can harmoniously intertwine.”

 

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