Is your travel agent about to be replaced?

By | Category: Travel news


Is your travel agent about to fade into the mists of time and be replaced by a robot?

I mention it because over her in Berlin at the travel show, a robot which looks like a mannequin is welcoming visitors to the show. Her name is ChihiraKanae and she is the brainchild of Toshiba. They have dressed this bit of computer wizardry to look like a “trade fair hostess” (their words, not mine) and “she” does look pretty lifelike as the images will confirm.

Another robot – just like her – is in Japan and she has been welcoming visitors for almost a year.

Has she a future on our high street?

Travelzoo have quizzed a number of people in nine different countries and the feeling amongst respondents is that they would approve of robots, if they did the job well, at help desks in tourism information centres, hotel check-ins, airports, or serving customers in restaurants.

emphasisin a point? Or showing me the door?

emphasisin a point? Or showing me the door?

Today, ChihiraKanae was capturing all the attention as she welcomed travel writers to the opening press conference. When she is officially presented on Friday expect to see media coverage in the UK.

I will be asking Travelzoo about how they see the opportunities for robots and artificial intelligence in the travel and tourism business. That story will run later this week.

Obviously Toshiba think that there is a future for robots or they wouldn’t be here. I want to know if they can replace travel writers.

Images ©  Frederic Mouren de Poligny

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