Booking.com has announced the expansion of the pilot version of its new service and support chatbot, the Booking Assistant, now widely available to English-language bookings worldwide.

As the latest evolution of Booking.com’s messaging platform, the Booking Assistant merges proprietary artificial intelligence technology with the company’s already-robust customer service support.

Available to an increasing number of travellers in advance of the busy end-of-year travel season, the Booking Assistant empowers customers to get first-line support for their upcoming bookings, including timely responses to their most common stay-related requests, all through a single intuitive chat interface.

Built entirely in house, the Booking Assistant seeks to quickly identifying and automatically responding to an increasingly broad range of post-booking related questions from travellers, all via their preferred device and platform.

The Booking Assistant leverages natural language processing technology to identify the most frequently asked questions from customers, including topics such as payment, transportation, arrival and departure times, date changes, cancellation requests, parking information, extra bed requests, pet policies, Wi-Fi and internet availability, as well as a wide variety of greetings and thank-you messages.

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“For us, artificial intelligence is not about replacing human interaction, but is instead a vehicle to facilitate an even more personalised, instantaneously gratifying and frictionless travel experience for consumers,” said James Waters, global director of customer service at Booking.com.

“As we operate in an industry that is incredibly personal, emotional and complex, maintaining the right balance between genuine human interaction and efficient automation is something we’re always trying to fine-tune and optimise throughout every stage of the consumer journey, including with the Booking Assistant.”

No matter which device or preferred communication channel travellers use, they can get the answers they need via the Booking Assistant.

The Booking Assistant was built as a mobile-first experience and has been adapted to operate natively within the iOS and Android versions of the Booking.com app, as well as via Facebook Messenger.

It can also be accessed via the Booking.com website on desktop, mobile or tablet.