explains its new Booking Messages platform

A person using Booking Messages

With the launch of’s instant messaging feature, Booking Messages, in May, we caught up with the team at in their Amsterdam headquarters to find out more recently launched its new Booking Messages interface, a chat-inspired communication platform that allows guests and accommodation providers easy and direct contact with one another the moment a booking is made.

The Booking Messages app came about as a result of’s culture of “small step, rapid innovation” and an aim to alleviate customer pain-points when it comes to travel. “One of my fellow designers likes to use the term ‘travel sucks,’ which is an interesting thing for someone who works at a travel agency to say,” says Stuart Frisby, principal designer at “But he’s right – outside of the fact that it’s really easy to book a hotel now, travel is really difficult.”

One particular hiccup in the travel experience was keen to tackle is the difficulty of communicating particular needs or simply making contact with your accommodation prior to arrival, due to different time zones, busy reception desks, and, in particular, a language barrier.’s answer was to diversify their product out of the transaction (ie booking accommodation), and develop a programme that would change the way interaction takes place once a reservation has been made. “We know that 75 per cent of our customers prefer self-service options to take care of simple requests,” said David Vismans, chief product officer at Naturally, talk turned to the ubiquity of instant messaging in daily communication.

Booking Messages interface with automatic translationBooking Messages is an easy-to-use, chat-like interface that replaces email or telephone correspondence by centralising all communication with a property in one place. Customers can choose from automatically pre-translated templates for certain predefined requests such as check-in and check-out times, as well as questions about parking and bed preferences, all in real time.

Still in its early stages, Messages is being introduced to’s accommodation partners in phases but is currently being used by 150,000 accommodations. In addition, customers will soon be able to initiate open text conversations with their accommodation with complete translation into all 42 languages supported by Features like this and more are currently being tested and are expected to be released shortly.

“What we’ve done is we’ve taken an interaction that can often take multiple days, multiple emails, multiple languages, eventually maybe someone even having to call to get a follow-up to their request, [and made it] as familiar as sending a text message to a friend or colleague,” says Frisby.

“Now we’re able to support this type of interaction where customers can really tailor their experience to what they’re looking for in their travel. We’re trying to remove friction and add delight to what is often a frustrating experience.”

Read more about

Gillian Tans of ‘Internationalism is in our DNA’

Booking Now has got your back

About author

Hannah Gresty

Hannah Gresty

Until she left the magazine in August 2019, Hannah Gresty was the assistant editor of Director. She previously worked on a local news website and at a fashion PR company before joining the Director team as editorial assistant in 2016.

No comments

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.



Going global

Santander's Breakthrough programme helps SMEs to market products and services abroad