Silent No More: Voice Search is 2018’s Next Big Thing

According to Google, 60 percent of searches from mobile devices are done by voice. Are you ready for the voice revolution?

Bronwyn White, a tourism strategist and co-founder of, asked that of an audience at the Tourism Marketing Rockstar Convention earlier this month in Sydney.

Artificial intelligence, and how it processes voice data, is changing accessibility to the hospitality industry, and the future is here. More than 50 percent of teens and 40 percent of adults use voice search daily, though research has found that users older than 25 feel more comfortable using voice queries privately rather than in public. Users younger than 25 are not uncomfortable using voice search in public, and that’s where the tide is turning, according to White.

“It’s a foretaste of things to come,” she said. “We’re still at the start of the revolution.”

Voice recognition software in the industry now is higher than 90 percent, but 99 percent is within reach. And once that happens, the world of difference between the current 95 percent accuracy and eventual 99 percent accuracy will be evident.

The hospitality industry needs to be ready, White advocates. There’s already simple steps that the travel and hospitality industry can take to adapt their marketing to voice queries:

  • Optimize location data
  • Fill out all relevant information in Google My Business
  • Promote and curate reviews
  • Focus your branding
  • Have a voice in mind when developing relevant content

White also suggested making FAQs far more conversational, as well as creating guides that contain informal, verbally phrased questions. The narrowed algorithms by voice-recognition software access user preferences, location and search history to tailor results to the user.

“To a great extent, if tourism businesses are optimized for mobile typed search, Google will deliver accurate search results via voice, too—at least in the short term,” White said.


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