Clia Conference 2018: MSC Cruises new onboard digital assistant will be called Zoe

Clia Conference 2018: MSC Cruises new onboard digital assistant will be called Zoe

MSC Cruises has revealed the name of its new digital personal assistant set to be rolled out next year will be Zoe.

Speaking at the Clia Conference, Gianni Onorato, the line’s chief executive, told 450 travel agents that the Amazon Alexa-style device’s name as he predicted how technology would shape life on a cruise in the future.

Onorato said developing onboard technology had become “part of everyday life” at MSC Cruises since around 2014.

Passengers on board MSC Bellissima will be able to activate the digital assistant when the ship launches next year by saying the words “Hello Zoe”.

The device will respond to seven languages, including Mandarin, and will be able to respond to every request from passengers about onboard services.

Onorato said that also the technology offered by MSC Cruises reflects the size of what is a small industry, the cruise sector understands the importance of software development.

Onorato appeared to confirm that legendary actress Sophia Loren would continue as the brand’s go-to godmother when asked on stage by Travel Weekly’s editor-in-chief Lucy Huxley.

The godmother for new ship MSC Bellissima has yet to be announced.

“Sophia Loren has been the godmother for all of our fleet,” Onorato said, adding: “So let’s wait for him [God] to decide when it should not be her anymore.”

Cindy D’Aoust, Clia’s president and chief executive, earlier told a conference room packed with delegates at the Hilton Hotel at The Ageas Bowl how she expected number of the UK passengers to take a cruise to surpass the two-million mark in 2018.

However, she warned travel agents that they ran the risk of “turning off” millennials if they talked about “advanced planning” when selling a cruise holiday.

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