I arrive to a new city and pull out my phone. I book and pay for a nearby taxi using an app, before switching to a hotel booking app to find recommended best-fit hotels. I book a hotel and pay instantaneously by using my phone. I arrive to my hotel where I scan my reference code at a computer kiosk. My keycard pops out. I find my own room, but now I fancy a feed, and so I call a virtual butler, who recommends some nearby restaurants to suit my preferences and needs. Even commercial flights use AI Autopilots.
So this is the current reality of the use of Artificial Intelligence in travel, and while AI is often thought to be our demise in a post-apocalyptic future, AI systems are in fact part of daily life for most of us in travel, and is already proving to be an asset to many industries. Thus, it is no surprise to see the travel and hospitality industry taking advantage of the power of AI technology, which is set to act as a game-changer for the industry.
The Realities of AI in Travel
The travel industry relies a lot on customer services and experiences. Whether it is about helping with their travel needs, make travel arrangements, cancel and reschedule travel plans, it is all about providing a seamless and hassle-free experience to the customers. Both the travel industry and travellers are enthusiastic about adopting the latest technology trends to enhance their experiences. And living in Bangkok city centre we see these types of innovative services emerging pretty much daily.
According to recent studies, 74% of travellers use the web to plan their trips, and more than 45% use smartphones to make bookings. With Artificial Intelligence already making inroads in the travel industry, you can certainly look forward to a much more simple and enjoyable travel experience. The travel industry is fast adopting an AI-first approach to make their services better for the customers, but it’s not just customer services that AI is developing, as companies like Industrial Vision Systems (IVS) focus on things like quality control, sorting, inspection and guidance.
How AI Can Change the Future of Travel?
Here are some ways how artificial intelligence can change the future of travel.
- Personal digital interactions and voice-based assistants asked on Bots using Natural Language Processing (NLP) would become prevalent. NLP and AI together will help the travellers accomplish the task with a more effective personalization using AI and with minimum interruptions and delays.
- Facial recognition technology will get rid of those time-consuming processes at airports and immigration. The travellers need not stand in long queues to have their travel documents scrutinized because of a simple facial scan.
- Machine Learning can make proactive use of internal and external data to help travellers make fast and right decisions regarding their seats, hotel rooms, restaurants, and vacation packages. They can rely on big data and machine learning and enjoy personalized offers based on current trends and their behaviour.
- Travellers would be able to enjoy an enhanced booking and ticketing experience and use dynamic pricing tools based on analytics. That will help the customers to track the best deals and get notifications and alerts. The AI-based apps can process hundreds and billions of flights every day, and the customers can make good savings on flight and hotel bookings.
- AI-powered bots can parse unstructured data and convey real-time information to the customer on digital channels. Customers can access real-time information with automatic interventions based on social media listening tools. These tools can decode social sentiments related to the traveller’s journey, whether it is before, during, or after. Thus, those interventions can get rid of any frustrations and make a positive impact on the customer and avoid a bad experience.
The Future is Now
Artificial Intelligence is still settling in the travel industry, and one is sure to see some pathbreaking innovations taking place in the coming future in the industry. One thing is for sure; they will allow a better and instant flow of accurate information and lower the time taken to complete the usual tasks. In an industry like travel and hospitality, time matters and is critical with constantly changing information. Artificial Intelligence and its invaluable capabilities will help churn those massive volumes of data into meaningful information that is provided to the customer with accuracy and instantly.