Industry Update
Supplier News10 June 2016

ZUMATA Taps IBM Watson to Enhance the Online Hotel Booking Experience

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SINGAPORE -- ZUMATA, a travel technology company, today unveiled its new cognitive-enabled travel distribution platform that integrates IBM Watson services to improve the online hotel booking experience for customers and travel services companies.

At the opening of the IBM Watson Centre Marina Bay, a new business incubator and research facility in Singapore, ZUMATA launched its new platform designed to provide personalized hotel recommendations that can be accessed via any device and integrated into applications, like Facebook, or linked to travel suppliers' online services. Using a combination of Watson APIs including AlchemyLanguage, Visual Recognition and Retrieve & Rank, the new platform delivers a more sophisticated and relevant trip discovery experience.

Using data and images aggregated from more than 60 global hotel providers and social media reviews, the ZUMATA platform goes beyond generic search results driven by destination and date. By tapping into Watson, the platform enables travelers to ask questions in natural language and receive recommendations based on publicly available information, from social media reviews to written and even visual content provided by hotel operators.

For example, a customer might type "I need a luxury hotel in Sydney with a view of the opera house, an indoor pool and free WiFi." Results returned will display images of the hotel view, amenities and sentiments about the hotel from other traveler's online reviews. The system learns with each interaction and can become more customized to each user over time.

During their travels, customers can also seek support from ZUMATA's intelligent agent. Travelers can ask questions or make changes to their bookings in natural language, and the agent can answer and take action upon their requests from any device in real time.

"Consumers are looking for inspiration, relevance and convenience because travel planning is overwhelming and time consuming," said Gary Theis, CTO of ZUMATA. "As a travel technology company, we now have the cognitive expertise to match consumers with their perfect trip. Our partnership with IBM Watson will make travel personal again."

ZUMATA also announced plans to continue expanding its reach across North America and other global markets by partnering with DHISCO, the world's leading hospitality distribution company, based in Dallas.

"This partnership is an exciting win-win for DHISCO and ZUMATA, enabling both companies to scale quickly into new markets," said Toni Portmann, CEO of DHISCO.

"We are also, obviously, very excited about ZUMATA's work with Watson and its potential for developing next-generation cognitive solutions that can drive better search results and customer satisfaction. ZUMATA has a stellar track record. We like the problems they're tackling now and in the future. We like the way they think."

Hear more about this news from Robert Meza, Director, ZUMATA at the IBM THINK blog


ZUMATA is the only AI-powered hotel distribution company in the world. We deliver consolidated online hotel inventory of over 500,000 properties globally to our customers. Accurate mapping, cognitive computing and significant supplier overlap allow our b2b partners to achieve lower cost prices, decrease reliance upon any single supplier, and optimize customer conversions. Founded in 2010, ZUMATA is headquartered in Singapore.

IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing

Watson represents a new era in computing called cognitive computing, where systems understand the world the way humans do: through senses, learning, and experience. Watson continuously learns from previous interactions, gaining in value and knowledge over time. With the help of Watson, organizations are harnessing the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.

To advance Watson, IBM has three dedicated business units: Watson, established for the development of cloud-delivered cognitive computing technologies that represent the commercialization of "artificial intelligence" or "AI" across a variety of industries; Watson Health, dedicated to improving the ability of doctors, researchers and insurers and other related health organizations to surface new insights from data to deliver personalized healthcare; and Watson IoT, focused on making sense of data embedded in more than 9 billion connected devices operating in the world today, which generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data daily.

For more information on IBM Watson, visit: and Join the conversation at #ibmwatson.

Jeri Clausing
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