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Skyscanner trials new ‘Road Trips’ offering: AI-powered personalised driving itineraries

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Skyscanner + Inspirock have partnered to create a new road trip planning service, with tailored recommendations for optimal routes, accommodations and sightseeing. ‘Road Trips’ now available for travellers in markets including the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

LOS ANGELES / LONDON - Leading global travel marketplace Skyscanner announced the launch of its new beta travel planner, Road Trips, in partnership with Inspirock, the AI-powered personalized itinerary platform. The new Road Trips offering combines the ease and simplicity of Skyscanner’s booking services with Inspirock’s AI personalization engine for sightseeing and activities, so travellers can plan the perfect road trip; including optimal routes, hotels and accommodations and car hire options, and an itinerary of fun and enjoyment.

With searches for domestic travel now making up 43% of global searches on Skyscanner, the travel marketplace identified an opportunity to expand on its popular flight booking services and meet growing traveller demands for trip inspiration and travel options within their own countries. Skyscanner wanted to deliver an end-to-end road trip planner with tailored recommendations for everything from where to stay to what to see, do, enjoy, and experience. The company turned to Inspirock to leverage its powerful algorithms and unparalleled reach in over 80,000 destinations worldwide, which enable personalised itineraries for travellers based on their unique interests, desired destination and trip duration, time of year, and other key factors.

Paul Cumins, Head of Car Hire at Skyscanner, said: “As travel starts to return, people are yearning to explore new places and favourite destinations once again. While we are already seeing air travel pick up more momentum, many travellers are opting for driving holidays, reviving the adventurous spirit of the road trip and discovering (or rediscovering) places closer to home. 

“Skyscanner’s recently published report, Horizons: The Return of Travel detailed that in the wake of the pandemic, many travellers are still gravitating towards domestic travel. Much of the hesitation around international travel stems from concerns around restrictions and testing requirements;  40% of consumers polled said that quarantine is the biggest deterrent for booking international travel, followed by testing (28%) and there being too many restrictions (27%). We’ve also seen a trend towards smaller rural or coastal destinations, with many of the bigger cities dropping in popularity. This presented an opportunity for Skyscanner to develop an offering that would help those travellers who were still keen on an escape but didn’t yet feel confident enough to go overseas or fly.

“We wanted to partner with Inspirock because of their unique AI engine and algorithmic approach. This allowed us to rapidly launch and scale Road Trips in five major countries with over 600,000 unique itineraries. As always at Skyscanner, we will continue to iterate and improve to ensure we’re meeting travellers’ evolving needs. With Inspirock’s reach in over 200 countries around the world, we’re excited to continue expanding Road Trips, offering travellers more options to drive to destinations - both closer to home and once they arrive in other countries.” 

Anoop Goyal, CEO and Co-Founder of Inspirock, said: “We’re proud to deliver Inspirock’s technology to help Skyscanner strategically expand its offerings, and meet the real needs and demands of today’s savvy travellers. Skyscanner has always helped travellers easily find the best prices and trip options to suit their travel needs, and now together, we’ve created the ultimate tool for personalised road trips. Travellers today seek more than just the logistics of where to stay and the best route to get from A to B and B to C - they want to make the most of their precious holiday time by maximising their enjoyment of activities and experiences along the way, and that are tailored to them.

“This is the superior, personalised travel experience that today’s travellers demand, helping companies like Skyscanner drive positive business outcomes, including increased brand loyalty, user acquisition, and monetisation. True to our name, we’re looking to inspire travellers while helping travel industry companies monetise inspiration.”

RoadTrips is currently live as a beta and available on the Skyscanner platform in five countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Ireland. The service is easy to use and hassle-free: simply select your starting destination, preferred trip duration, and departure date, and Road Trips automatically generates a selection of real itineraries with travel times, stops, accommodations, activities, and more. You can further narrow your selection by themes (such as Family, Culture, Outdoors, or Romantic), and adjust the itinerary to suit your personal preferences. Whether you’re seeking crowd-pleasers or off-the-path experiences, RoadTrips is the easiest way to ensure an exceptional driving holiday experience.

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