How AI Revolutionizes Traditional Tourism
The global pandemic significantly affected customer preferences and expectations. Social distancing is now strongly associated with massive digitalization in our private life and at work. In the meantime, the travel industry is rising from the ashes, trying to get to know this new type of customer.
In pursuit of their business advantage, companies create “a perfect service”, which often means implementing innovations in regular operations. What tool to use to remain competitive and gain back what was lost during lockdowns? Artificial intelligence has a lot to answer.
How exactly can algorithms help travel agencies and their clients, and what will change in the near future? This article reveals the potential of AI in travel and hospitality.
How AI Technologies Impact Travel and Tourism: Trends and Figures
Using innovations is a natural development stage of modern travel businesses. Getting from point A to point B is no longer a luxury. The priority is given to experiences, from buying tickets to checking out of the hotel. What role does AI have in this ongoing process? Let’s look at the stats.
- 82% of airlines globally are going to try out business intelligence in the upcoming years;
- In 2022, the usage of chatbots in branded and independent hotels is expected to grow by 42% and 64% respectively;
- According to a report provided by McKinsey & Company, modern AI analytics techniques are 128% more effective for the travel industry than traditional analytics methods. This is the highest rate compared to 18 other industries studied during the research;
- According to the same research, AI will likely bring the most value to the travel industry (around 400 billion USD) than to any other niche.
AI inspires entrepreneurs and software developers to innovate and restore tourism after a massive pandemic shock. The following examples of artificial intelligence in the travel and hospitality industry will give you an idea of ongoing transformations.
The Most Popular AI Use Cases in Travel and Tourism
You have probably come across several of these AI tools during your traveling experience but never paid much attention to their true value. It is time to examine them more closely.
1. Smart booking assistants (chatbots)
With modern online services, clients do not have to visit travel agencies to plan their trips. But technologies have gone further: now customers do not even need to talk to travel agents to make necessary arrangements. AI-powered chatbots have all questions answered.
They help book flights, accommodations, and even cars for rent. As a rule, these assistants are in-built into messengers or social media to make service the most “naturally-looking ” for travelers.
2. Personalized recommendations
Machine learning algorithms started a new era in the recommendation service. They continuously track user activity and create personalized suggestions accordingly. It is no secret that personalization is the key engine for customer satisfaction.
According to McKinsey & Company, 71% of consumers expect a personalized approach, and 76% get frustrated if they do not get it. Ignoring personalization becomes a highly hazardous business decision with time.
3. Sentiment analysis
Every user leaves a unique online mark. We post photos, share impressions, repost content, etc. We do it every day, and technologies are aware of our actions.
Using machine learning and natural language processing (NLP), companies from the hospitality industry get a complete overview of what people think about their service (or the services of others). In other words, they analyze users’ sentiments on social media platforms or any other online resources.
Can you imagine tracking it manually? Maybe, you or your employees have done it already, so you probably realize how much time and effort it takes. But technologies have changed everything.
4. Flight forecasting
Any person traveling by plane knows how hard it is to buy a plane ticket for the lowest price. But what if technologies do all the hard work? Innovative apps driven by AI algorithms help travelers find the most favorable deal and provide cost predictions.
5. Facial recognition
Facial recognition is another increasingly popular application of AI in the travel industry. As the name suggests, it helps identify a person by comparing their facial features with the ones available in the database.
This use case is already employed at airports, train stations, hotels, and other places, providing tourists and travelers with easy access to these facilities and saving their time. Going further, it also guarantees a high level of security for a particular business and its personnel.
6. Baggage handling systems
It is time to say goodbye to well-known baggage labels — AI algorithms will handle the task way more successfully. Plus, it is environmentally friendly. What exactly do we mean by that?
While the number of travelers grows yearly, specialists from the travel and tourism industry are looking for a way to optimize baggage processing. And here it is. Computer vision technology can trace the tiniest bag characteristics and send a complete bag “profile” to the database. Machine learning then distinguishes the right baggage according to its unique portrait.
7. Robotized self-service
Are you ready to hire a robot for customer services? Surprisingly or not, the robotized staff appears in different corners of the world, and the Covid pandemic has played a significant role in it.
Robots can speed up numerous daily operations, make assumptions based on the vast amount of data, and deal with several tasks at a time way more effectively than humans.
Read this article in full if you’re looking for more trends, market predictions, and specific AI implementations in travel & hospitality.