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The Leading Hotels of the World, a collection of uncommon luxury hotels, and WayBlazer, the world’s first cognitive travel platform, announced the public beta launch of a sophisticated discovery tool on the Leading Hotels’ website that enables people to use natural dialogue while researching travel online. Just in time for summer vacation planning, the new tool helps travelers by providing tailored recommendations based on specific needs.

The Leading Hotels of the World has collaborated with WayBlazer to harness its Cognitive Discovery Tool software, powered by IBM Watson. WayBlazer leverages IBM Watson’s natural language processing services to dynamically present hotel recommendations based on natural dialogue with the consumer. Leading Hotels has applied this technology to deliver recommendations based on preferences such as pet-friendly hotels, award-winning dining, honeymoon destinations, golf courses or proximity to a beach, and more.

According to a recent study commissioned by The Leading Hotels of the World, 81 percent of affluent travelers conduct independent research online to find the experiences they want. By using WayBlazer’s Watson-powered solution, travelers can now experience more relevance through robust curation when planning a vacation that can meet a variety of needs.

For example, a traveler can type in sentences describing what kind of hotel, destination, time of year, or amenities he or she is looking for, such as:

  • “Where are the best hotels in the Caribbean for my honeymoon in June”
  • “I want a kid-friendly hotel in Ireland with access to a great golf course”
  • “Best hotels with pools on the Amalfi Coast for a stay at the end of August”

Once a traveler enters these details, the trip discovery tool delivers hotel results that are displayed in order of relevance with dynamic images bringing to life the traveler’s search criteria. Travelers can browse and select a hotel to see additional images and contextual insights explaining why that particular option is a fit for the amenities or location they seek. This ultimately drives travelers to further explore the property page and book directly through

“As we approach our most popular season for bookings, we’re excited to collaborate with WayBlazer on this new cognitive discovery tool,” said Phil Koserowski, Vice President of Interactive Marketing, The Leading Hotels of the World.  “By adding this functionality to our website, we are putting the power of exploration in the hands of travelers so they can effortlessly research and find hotels that meet their individual needs and desires for their trip.”

“Travel planning can be very time-consuming, and the industry is ripe for more intuitive solutions,” said Felix Laboy, CEO of WayBlazer. “By using WayBlazer, The Leading Hotels of the World has become a true digital innovation player by providing customers the choice and flexibility to plan a trip in their own way, increasing loyalty, site engagement, and conversion.”

WayBlazer is a member of the Watson Ecosystem and one of six companies to receive funding from IBM to support the development of their cognitive solution. The Watson ecosystem is a community of more than 500 partners across 17 industries and disciplines, more than 100 of which have already introduced commercial cognitive enabled apps, products and services to the market. In addition to these partners, more than 80,000 developers globally are tapping into more than 30 APIs available via the Watson Developer Cloud on Bluemix to pilot, test and deploy new business ideas.

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