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5 reasons chatbots will help hotels thrive

Over 2.5 billion people have at least one messaging app installed on their phone. According to the consulting firm Activate, by the end of 2018 a total of 3.6 billion users will be using messaging apps to connect with friends and businesses. Messaging really is the new social media.

Many hotels already offer messaging options, giving their guests the ability to text them through proprietary apps or messaging channels on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or even SMS.

The real revolution is yet to come, but we can see some signs. When major messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger and Slack introduced bots in 2016, it became clear that bots will be an integral part of our future. Some travel brands embraced the new technology almost immediately , including  Kayak, Skyscanner, and, by launching bots of their own . In the following months, more travel brands and independent hotels will follow the trend.

But how can they benefit? Here are 5 ways.

1. New reservation channel

 Individual properties and chain hotels want to reduce their dependency on online travel agencies and increase direct, non-commissionable web business. When hotels start to be present where the users are — that is, in messaging apps — consumers will start to use this natural way of communication to book their trips.

2. Building loyalty

Chatbots will increase guest engagement and enhance the overall guest experience by giving a personalized treatment in all stages of the customer journey — from the pre-arrival experience to on-property interaction and even in the post-trip period.

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