Glossary of misused buzzords in the Travel Industry

In Spanish we have a precise term to define a person that uses words without knowing their meaning: “filatico”. It appears there is no translation in English, so I’ll go ahead and coin a new term for this particular kind of poseurs: buzzworder.

The following is a short compilation of silly misuses of technical or current fashionable expressions. May you find it funny, or at least useful to avoid being a buzzworder!

Artificial intelligence: the strongest fuel of human stupidity, these days. I cannot tell how many cases I saw the term “AI” used as a synonym for automation or simply computing processes, so I’ll go with the most recent. A salesman was bragging on a nation-wide publication that their B2B system boasted “AI technology to reduce overbooking to 0,01%”. Could you please explain us peasants how’s that, good Sir? It turned out that post-booking, a “robot” in their system would send a couple of e-mails to the hotel, asking to reconfirm the booked room. If there was no reply whatsoever, an agent at their call center would contact the hotel to check what the problem was… Useful? Maybe. But as far away from intelligence as a turd.

Big data: to most people, a fuzzy idea related to computers and the black/green screen from “The Matrix”. I keep in my archives the sales material from a software vendor that promises the possibility to “easily access to a big data from your back-office” (meaning CRM features).

Blockchain: a very effective stupidometer. The most ludicrous buzzworder I’ve ever seen, wanted to call a simple redistribution functionality of his mediocre booking engine a “blockchain marketplace”. To my enquiry about the naming, he replied: “well, through our marvelous technological advancement, users of our booking engine will be able to sell their own products to each other, avoiding intermediaries”. This “visionary” would keep a hefty transaction fee, so he failed to grasp the “intermediation” concept as well, not to mention his blindness towards industry’s standards. To think that a bank invested half a million bucks on this moron, for chrissake!

Business Intelligence: any report, or anything that’s related to reports, seems to be confused to the term BI these days. A DMC recently was looking to “adopt a business intelligence”, as if it was something that you buy by the pound or get in an orphanage.

Chatbot: no, Madam, it’s not whatever pops up on the right lower corner of a website. Nor is a synthetic replacement for a human capable of talking and reasoning: I saw a terrible buzzworder threatening a customer support employee to be replaced… by a chatbot! I wanted to intervene stating that any chatbot would be a better leader than this genius, but I restrained myself. Sorry, I don’t provide free consulting to assholes.

Data Scientist: a favourite on big verticals’ HR desks, although they don’t have a clue what on Earth does a data scientist do. As a result, you find job ads with ridiculous requirements like this one >> .- It’s all related to data, isn’t it? To establish a comparison, it’s like looking for a psychotherapist with a degree in plastic surgery (vaginal reconstruction specialization) and a masters’ in biomechanics, with vast experience in dental prothesis. Good luck finding that rainbow unicorn!

Disruptive innovation: come on, give us a break. Either alone or together, these two words are quickly losing any meaning, especially in the accommodation sector.

I guess there are more, but there’s no envyclopedic intention here. Nor I meant to deride people who don’t know these terms; what I wanted is to shed a red light of ridicule over those showoffs who lightly use terms that they didn’t even bother googling. Next time somebody pops up the wrong buzzword in a conversation, I hope you’ll giggle… or at least avoid being another buzzworder.

Thanks for reading!

Marcello Bresin