The new round of travel technology companies accepted into
Virtuoso's Incubator program this year for the first time includes companies focused
on artificial intelligence (AI).
Virtuoso on Monday said it accepted five companies into the
program. In total, 45 applications were received, meaning only 11% were
Two focus on AI: eRoam and HelloGbye. The first is an
Australian company with an AI-powered solution that designs personalized
itineraries based on trends. According to Virtuoso, eRoam's "technology
continuously scans current travelers' data to advise future travelers of the
same peer group on what is trending in transport, accommodations, and
Canadian company HelloGbye offers a tool to advisors that
uses AI to generate recommendations for itineraries based on natural language,
or spoken words. "It scans incoming communications and provides instant
recommendations to advisors based on set preferences, purchase history and
geo-demographic profiles," Virtuoso said.
This year's Incubator companies are rounded out by Jrrny, a
content creation platform; PlanitEasy, a central platform for customer
relationship management, trip management and accounting; and ZoomandGo, a
map-based hotel reservation and analytics solution.
A panel of Virtuoso advisors test the products, then send
suggestions to the companies.
Last year, over 100 advisors volunteered to be on panels,
and 100% said in a survey they would be interested in participating again,
At the end of the trial period, Virtuoso considers each
company for full Virtuoso partnership, with its services being rolled out to
the global network of member agencies. Several have been accepted out of the
"Our priority is on tools that enhance service and
efficiency, and this year, with our two AI startups, we are leading the way in
helping shape this exciting technology for the benefit of travel advisors and
their clients," David Kolner, senior vice president of global member
partnerships, said in a statement.
Virtuoso partners with Phocuswright on its Incubator
program. Phocuswright and Virtuoso are also collaborating on a study of the
agency landscape in the U.S., which Virtuoso said will help guide the direction
of the Incubator program.
Phocuswright and Travel Weekly have the same parent company,
Northstar Travel Group.