Sunny Cars: Recommend the best routes and attractions for every customer - without hiring a global team of writers

Photo: Sunny Cars
Photo: Sunny Cars

Sunny Cars: Recommend the best routes and attractions for every customer - without hiring a global team of writers

How a major car rental brand uses content automation to launch trip recommendations for hundreds of European destinations, in 5 weeks.

COMPANY

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Sunny Cars is a well-known brand that provides holidaymakers with rental cars. The company offers car rental package for more than 120 countries worldwide, including popular tourist destinations such as Spain, Italy, Portugal, and the United States.

INDUSTRY

Car rental

WEBSITE

https://www.sunnycars.de/

Challenge

New level of customer support with travel content

Many customers praise Sunny Cars for the quality of its services and the transparency of its pricing. In 2021, the company launched Sunny2Go, a distinctive customer service app, to solidify its position as a premium brand in car rental. This web app gives holidaymakers exclusive access to travel tips for a more memorable experience.

The insight

Many people who rent cars for holiday trips want to fully explore their destination, from popular landmarks to hidden gems. However, with so many places to see, it can be difficult to decide where to go. Sunny Cars recognized this challenge and set out to find a solution to the question:

How to create high-quality recommendations for car trips - on a large scale?

In order to accomplish this, they partnered with By The Ways and utilized content automation to produce travel recommendations for Sunny2Go.

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Consider this: For a country like Spain, we would have to create a minimum of 3 travel itineraries for each of the 100 prominent cities and regions to cover it comprehensively. That amounts to at least 300 routes for one country. And this is the bare minimum. Doing this without By The Ways would be impossible, especially in terms of the quality and scale that we need.”

Detlef Hoffmann Managing Director of Sunny Cars International GmbH

Goal

Provide customers with the best trip recommendations for any of their hundreds of destinations across Europe

➜ provide multiple route options for each popular city and province within a country

➜ routes should be visually appealing and user-friendly, incorporating images and maps

➜ let customers personalize and export the routes for navigation purposes

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Route planning is unique to each individual. How can automation resolve this problem? A one-size-fits-all approach does not work in travel. You cannot create a single epic route and expect everyone to follow it. If you've ever planned a trip, you know how much time it takes to research an individual route, and even then, it may not be the ideal route for someone else. Automation can process vast amounts of data quickly and efficiently. This enables it to analyze various factors such as the user's preferences and time constraints to generate customized travel plans that are tailored to their specific needs.

Not only are automated trip recommendations time-saving, accurate and scalable, but they also have a higher chance of resonating with users.

How they did it

In just five weeks, Sunny Cars has integrated the capability to recommend routes and highlight fascinating points of interest (such as museums, restaurants, and viewpoints) for their customers' vacation destinations into Sunny2Go.

Mallorca by car: Road trip from Sa Calobra to Cala Millor with the top attractions and stops along the route
Mallorca by car: Road trip from Sa Calobra to Cala Millor with the top attractions and stops along the route

Creating route recommendations at scale

Our route recommendation algorithm is used to generate travel routes based on different parameters (e.g. travel time, location, theme). We also provide Sunny Cars with access to a rich database of points of interest (POIs), such as museums, historical sites, view points, and restaurants.

By adopting our approach, Sunny Cars now offers customized travel recommendations to each user through two distinct methods:

  • By taking customer’s pick-up location into account, we predict which trips would pique their interest, such as journeys within their chosen destination (e.g. pick-up station in Málaga → trips in Andalusia region)
  • With the customer's consent to track their current location, we suggest trips based on their actual location (e.g. suggest day-trips from their hotel)
User can select from multiple routes within their destination
User can select from multiple routes within their destination
Users can pick from various attractions on the way, such as historic sites, beaches, view points or restaurants.
Users can pick from various attractions on the way, such as historic sites, beaches, view points or restaurants.
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How By The Ways ensures quality

We only create routes with easily accessible attractions, avoiding lengthy detours and unrealistic travel plans. Our algorithm considers various aspects that constitute a great route, such as:

  • current location and destination (e.g. island)
  • types and density of attractions
  • road types
  • travel time limits

This type of research and calculations would typically take hours to complete for just one route - if done manually. This is why automation is crucial.

Next steps

Destinations outside of Europe

Sunny Cars plans to use By The Ways technology to include additional destinations beyond the current coverage of European countries.

"We are currently offering these route tips for most European destinations, but we are already planning to expand to destinations outside of Europe," Detlef Hoffmann, Managing Director of Sunny Cars International GmbH

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