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How Artificial Intelligence (AI) is Changing the Travel Industry?

Written by on August 18, 2020 in Travel and Entertainment with 0 Comments

As technology makes life simpler and easier its influence on the travel industry is becoming greater and AI is playing a crucial part in this. Many, I think, upon hearing the term Artificial Intelligence (AI) are thrown into a defensive iRobot denial of this technology. Everyone has had that moment when they are speaking or have searched something on Google and suddenly it pops up on your ‘Facebook recommended’ adverts – spooky! However, increasing implementation throughout the decades, and rising influence on life in the 21st century are not to be snubbed. This is particularly true when you look at the relationship AI can have with the travel industry. It can be, and is being, used to completely revolutionize the experience of traveler across the globe. AI uses human trends and data, analyses and compares them before responding with an appropriate output back to the consumer, which can really change the way people travel, from the initial booking stage all the way through to that cocktail on the beach.

AI is making waves in the travel industry and using the technology to improve the businesses associated. It means robotization, personalization and better data management for businesses using algorithms and robotic prowess, can completely change the way humans travel. Let's have a look at how AI is affecting the travel industry and whether AI changing tourism in the future.

Robotization

What industries will be affected by AI? All of them, would be my guess. The travel industry is no exception to an increasing amount of sway towards the use of AI in business plans. But how is AI affecting and changing the travel industry?

Robotization is becoming widespread in the industry. Perhaps the biggest implementation of AI to date is the use of bot technology in chat boxes and social media responses to customer queries. Skyscanner has been using bots from as early as 2016. It means businesses can provide the customer with valuable information and answer questions that they may have without having a human rep available. It allows a 24/7 availability of responses to the ever increasing demand of instantaneous in 21st century life, with new plans looking to implement the popular ‘Alexa’ and ‘Cortana’ technology. Increasing conversions prove very helpful to businesses and customers alike, meaning instant bookings.

The effect of AI on society is becoming increasingly apparent with not just its impact on customer service but also its safeguarding. I’m particularly alluding to the use of cameras and facial recognition within day to day life. This form of AI is affecting the travel industry in a positive manner. It means check-in at airports, border control and even automated check-ins at hotels are much easier and less-time consuming. Long gone are the days of ruffling around in your poly pocket to find the correct printed out document for each given step of the traveling process. Now all you need is, quite literally, your face.

It's not just facial recognition, which is being used to make check-ins easier. Some hotels are looking to completely robotize their workforce. This has seen the Hilton chain implement ‘Connie’, the world’s first robot hotel concierge. It works on an AI based algorithm which leads it to learn more, process and analyze the data as more data is input (basically, the more you talk to it, the more it can tell future customers). It means language barriers are forgotten and long waits to check into your hotel after a long day traveling are in the past. The robotization in this field is just one avenue which shows just how AI is affecting the travel industry.

Personalization

Everyone likes to be made to feel special, particularly when they are being catered for, and especially when they are on a break or on holiday. Personalizing is another factor affecting business in general as society becomes more unsocial it seems it thrives for the more personal. This has been fully registered by the travel industry and has been a subsequent focus for their industry for years. It is only recently, though, with the introduction of further technology that they can really make this happen on a truly mesmerizing scale.

The personalization experience can happen before the trip you are planning on going on is even booked. The logging of data and analyzing of this by AI means companies can send adverts, tailored recommendations and subtle pop-ups to lead customers into choosing their company. It means if you usually book an all-inclusive hotel in Europe in July, you know what you can expect coming your way advertising wise. Just had a wedding? Look out for some trips to Venice on your suggested adverts.

Dynamic pricing is another way that AI can impact the travel industry as it allows the machines to work out cheaper prices and rates for the hotels and present them accordingly to the right clientele at the right time. This ultimately benefits both parties. In accordance with this, the technology can estimate rates and advertise these to potential customers. This means the hotels fill gaps that would be otherwise empty and the customers get a cheaper holiday than they would have otherwise, it really is a symbiotic process that ultimately revolutionizes the travel industry. This personalization via data collection and analysis runs right the way through the travel industry from the airlines to accommodations and can easily plan the best holiday experience for you. It means tailoring the whole experience of your stay. From the breakfast menu to the cocktail menu, the best beach to the most luxurious room.

Perhaps one of the more astonishing benefits of AI within the travel industry is the way it can use data to create solid contingency plans in the event of any unwanted interruptions. Usually focusing on business travel rather than leisure, planned contingencies need to be rapid acting so as to allow sharp deadlines to be met. AI allows efficient and fast predictions for interruptions or hindrances and tries to alleviate any potential for serious travel disruptions. Using predictions about weather, delays and other issues that may arise, the AI collates data and accordingly creates an algorithm to make a contingency plan. An example of this can be bad weather in the airport you are landing at, which results in a diversion. The contingency planner can reroute your connecting transport to get to your destination or else sort out the best hotels around for you to wait until it is possible to get there. Interruptions not only cost the traveler and their business, but they also affect airlines both financially and via customer satisfaction. This technology is therefore very important and shows brilliantly how AI is affecting the travel industry in a wholly positive way.

Business

By looking after other businesses, the travel industry in itself looks after its own business. As an industry, it is booming (and I can only presume will return to its success after Covid-19 settles). This means there is a lot of money to be made in this field, and subsequently lost. The obvious data analysis, which AI conducts means management and business plans within the industry can be assessed in accordance with the behavior of consumers. It also leads to new breakthroughs which can cut costs for the business and allow for a more smooth running service to boost their customer satisfaction. Virtual ticketing booths facilitate remote call center support to electronic machines for tickets. This in turn helps to drive down expense costs through the eliminated need to hire staff and the required running costs. While machine learning means AI is creating predictions on what day of the week, who is flying and to where more accurately to allow links to be set up according to demand.

AI can also weed out any unwanted human error or threat from the business internally. This can be in the form of increased productivity, replacing the human worker with a much more efficient machine to catalogue data or dealing with a malicious matter. This means identifying fraud and attacks on companies is much easier than it would be for a human. Its analysis of data means the ability for companies to defend themselves against those manipulating them is mitigated. It is quite clear, therefore, that artificial intelligence has not only changed the industry for the consumer, but it has also really had an impact on the businesses providing the service as well. This extensiveness shows how AI is affecting the travel industry in massive ways.

This driving down of expenditure can lead to increased profits and available expenditure. Expenditure that can be pumped back into the travel business and industry in the form of Digital marketing SEO. This available budget for marketing and the incorporating of automated marketing through AI, can help ensure that the company is getting out there in front of the right audience. By becoming active with minimal mistakes in such a difficult time, can allow travel companies to continue offering a satisfactory service despite how unsure the future appears.

Conclusion

Offering a more finely tuned service than has been previously used in the past, AI is changing the travel industry and indulging the traveler like never before. Numerous avenues of exploration for technology can be made from its existing structure and it seems like it can have a really huge and healthy impact in the future. AI offers a whole new digital strategy to the businesses and consumers alike. It satisfies the growing needs of customers, whilst maintaining a steady flow of demand for an increasing range of providers platforms who are increasingly using the new tech in the travel industry. Smiles all round really!

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