America-based travel company Despegar is launching a travel assistant tool
powered by generative artificial intelligence that offers multimodal
functionality for trip planning.

Dubbed “Sofia,”
the tool is available in both the Despegar app and on its website. 

Users must log in
with their Despegar account and then can interact with the tool using text,
voice or by clicking on visual options.

“Sofia uniquely
supports Despegar’s customers throughout the entire travel planning process,
from inspiring destination ideas to visualizing various travel options, and it
does this through their preferred mode of communication,” said Gonzalo Estebarena, chief technology officer at Despegar.

traditional e-commerce platforms that require pre-determined interactions with
a customer, Sofia can dynamically and nearly instantaneously create travel
options based on the customer’s requests. We are proud to lead with a
technology that elevates the user experience to an entirely new level,
representing a paradigm shift in the travel industry.”

Users can express
specific options for a trip or can select from a list of destinations and then
the tool provides options for hotels, flights, activities and more in that
destination, tailored to their preferences.

Payments are also
integrated so the booking can be completed by clicking through the links
provided in the chat. If necessary, users can connect to Despegar
representatives for further assistance.

The company said the tool will be updated with new capabilities in the future, such as the ability to remember previous interactions so users can pick up where they left off hours or even days later. 

The tool is now available
across Latin America.

“We are very excited, this launch represents a paradigm
shift in the travel industry and we are proud to be the first to offer this
type of technology that will undoubtedly take the user experience to another
level,” Estebarena said.

Correction: This article originally included input from Despegar that the Sofia tool already remembers previous interactions but the company has since retracted that statement. The headline and story have been corrected.

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