NextPax has access to an immense and continuously growing set of data coming from hotels and alternative lodging companies (vacation rentals, villas, condos and holiday parks). The integration of Artificial Intelligence in its technology will expand and accelerate NextPax’s ability to help partners grow their business. One of the first areas AI will be used on is analyzing millions of images through Deep Learning (Convolutional Neural Networks).
Having a large selection of high quality and tagged images increases shopper conversion, resulting in additional bookings for lodging companies. ‘The main influencers for purchasing lodging are the images displayed during the shopping process. We receive millions of images via content APIs as well as hard-drives with terabytes of photo material from our partners,’ says Erik Engel, CEO of NextPax. ‘The alternative is having someone manually tagging the images, that goes against what we stand for as a technology provider. Automation, reducing the workload and helping property managers and channels improve online performance is at the core of NextPax’s development strategy.’
Utilizing vast quantities of available data, the NextPax development team has built an image-tagging system that works with Deep Learning; an important branch of Artificial Intelligence that encompasses a broad field of methods that are based on Neural Networks. ‘The majority of the millions of pictures that go through the NextPax platform have no identifying tags or descriptions,’ Robert van der Mast, CTO of NextPax explains. ‘In order to classify the images, a state-of-the-art Deep Learning model is trained, and in the iterative process of incorporating the vast amounts of data we have at NextPax, we are able to improve our model even further. Data we now process via the NextPax platform is enriched and more accurate when sent to the channels.’
Improving content scores
NextPax’ partners directly benefit from the Artificial Intelligence technology employed, as it improves the content scores on the channels. This improves the searchability of properties resulting in increased conversion rates. ‘We are proud of our talented development engineers who bring their expertise, skills and development techniques that add so much value to our platform,’ says Erik Engel. ‘This is only the first of many AI functionalities to be implemented by NextPax, as we continue to have a leading role in travel technology.’
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