Voice recognition to take pain out of travel search, says Skyscanner chief

Voice recognition to take pain out of travel search, says Skyscanner chief

Skyscanner chief executive Gareth Williams is to tell the CNN audience how voice search is the next big technological innovation he wants to see.

The boss of the hugely successful Edinburgh-based metasearch site has given an interview to the broadcaster for its CNN Marketplace Europe show.

In the interview Williams admits he had no idea how Skyscanner would make money when it was first established, and instinct played a large part in the strategy.

“It was taking a bet on the view of the future I suppose,” he said.

Williams tells CNN reporter Max Foster that airline partners took some convincing of the value of Skyscanner at first but soon came round given the low cost of distribution it offers.

He suggests that airlines see the site as a good way of ultimately driving direct bookings once customers have used the site to find out who flies where.

Having admitted that travel is “incredibly painful to search for”, Williams is asked what he wants to see from the suppliers of devices to help address this.

“I think voice recognition is an incredibly powerful area there’s been a huge amount of progress in,” he said.

The full interview will be aired on Saturday November 16 at 3am and 4pm Greenwich Mean Time and at 1am and 7.15pm on Sunday November 17.

Last month Skyscanner was name Travolution brand of the year at the annual Travolution Awards having secured private equity investment from US-based Sequoia Capital which valued the firm at £800 million.

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