The Ascott Limited (Ascott), a premier lodging business unit fully owned by CapitaLand Investment, has embarked on a groundbreaking journey to redefine guest experiences. Ascott has introduced Cubby, an AI-powered web chatbot designed to accompany travelers in the planning and booking stages of their journeys.
Meet Cubby: Your AI Travel Buddy
Named after Ascott’s friendly mascot, Cubby, this chatbot takes on the role of a virtual ‘travel buddy.’ Equipped with a wide array of features including destination highlights, accommodation suggestions, tips for shopping, and pointing out ‘Instagram-worthy’ spots, Cubby aims to offer comprehensive travel insights.
A ChatGPT-Fueled Innovation
Built on Microsoft OpenAI and Azure Services, Cubby employs Bing search, Azure Map, and other Azure services to furnish real-time data. It also leverages insights from Ascott’s global website, DiscoverASR.com. As a promising initiative in Ascott’s tech-enabled guest journey, Cubby is currently in its test-bedding phase, focusing on learning and adaptation.
Ascott’s Perspective: Personalizing Travel Exploration
Ascott’s Managing Director for Brand & Marketing, Ms. Tan Bee Leng, expressed her enthusiasm: “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. 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.”
Leveraging New Technology: Ascott’s AI-powered Web Chatbot
Cubby will initially support live chat agents, handling simple inquiries, while also offering guests the chance to generate personalized itineraries. Future capabilities include sharing travel tips, visa advice, health and safety information, and even assisting with booking accommodations.
Next Phase: A Multichannel Cubby
To cater to evolving guest expectations, Cubby will later integrate with different applications and enhance its language capabilities. This advancement will enable instant response across channels in the guest’s preferred language, handling an immense volume of inquiries consistently.
Quicker Check-ins and Enhanced Stay Experience
Ascott is also piloting facial recognition technology for faster check-ins in Singapore and planning AI-based sentiment analysis tools for guest feedback, aiming to elevate satisfaction and provide strategic insights for new properties.
Empowering People for Growth
Ascott aims to harness technology by making certified training available to its associates, ensuring they are equipped to leverage the latest technological advancements for greater efficiency.
Pushing the Innovation Frontier
Ascott’s commitment to tech-forward hospitality is evident in its ambitious innovations since 2016, including the digital ecosystem transformation, mobile application for room keys, and the introduction of service robots in China.
Ms. Tan summarized Ascott’s vision: “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.”
With Cubby, Ascott is not merely following the trend; it’s setting the pace for the industry. Its unique blend of technology and personalization is a bold step forward, marking Ascott’s place at the forefront of the hospitality technology revolution.