AI platform evolves into Covid-era essential

The DragonSlayer platform can help travel advisors keep up with Covid-19 openings and entry requirements.
The DragonSlayer platform can help travel advisors keep up with Covid-19 openings and entry requirements.

DragonSlayer, a platform that tracks border closures and entry requirements for 124 countries and all 50 states, is open to travel advisors, and founder and CEO Peter Wells hopes it will help the trade get back on its feet after being walloped by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Advisors can sign up for a free 14-day trial. After that, DragonSlayer is $9.99 per month, or $69.99 per year.

While there are other services dedicated to tracking changes in travel requirements, Wells said the value in DragonSlayer is that it aggregates information from a number of sites, from government sites down to local newspapers. It saves travel advisors time because they don't have to do it themselves.

DragonSlayer founder and CEO Peter Wells.
DragonSlayer founder and CEO Peter Wells.

"There is no perfect machine out there that can just figure all this out because it's moving so quickly, but by aggregating all these other sites that we go to, we're doing the legwork on behalf of the travel professional," Wells said.

DragonSlayer also offers several proprietary features. For instance, it ranks states and countries using "smart analytics for educating travelers," or SAFE-T.

Using a number of factors developed in conjunction with a CDC epidemiologist -- including number of cases, number of deaths and testing availability -- a destination's SAFE-T score indicates, on a scale of 1-100, how safe it is to visit.

Destinations' SAFE-T scores and information on entry requirements are updated daily, or more often as DragonSlayer receives new information, Wells said. 

DragonSlayer also has an "open" filter, which filters for destinations that are open to travelers from the U.S. It also has an option to filter destinations based on risk tolerance, determined after users answer a handful of questions about their comfort levels.

Wells said more than 1,000 people are signed up for a free trial of DragonSlayer. He estimated 80% are travel advisors (consumers can sign up, too). Wells acknowledged that asking an already-strapped community to pay for a new service is a bit of a tough sell but that based on initial feedback advisors are saving time using DragonSlayer and finding value in the product.

"We really believe that if armed with the right knowledge, we can help get travel back on its feet," he said.

DragonSlayer initially launched last fall as a service designed to identify a traveler's persona, for instance, if they're an active traveler, a chill traveler or a cultural traveler, or some mix therein. It then used artificial intelligence and machine learning to help travelers find unique experiences and journeys.

When the pandemic hit, Wells switched gears to the service he is offering today. Once travel does come back to meaningful volumes, he is considering white-labeling DragonSlayer's original iteration for travel advisors to use with their clients.


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