Since the mere beginnings of travel and tourism in ancient Rome, where rich citizens used to take long trips to the countryside and the coast to spend their summers away from the city; the world’s first transatlantic passenger flight service in 1939; all the way to the current state of travel, where booking flights and hotel rooms are just a click away, the travel industry has always grown and benefited from technological advances.
Although the industry has, at times, been resistant to adopting new technologies, it’s undeniable that all the growth the tourism industry faced would not have been possible without the influence of technological innovations.
Speaking of innovation, we cannot deny that digitalization has been one of the biggest transformations the travel industry has seen in recent years. Digitization opened the way to lots of new technologies, within which is artificial intelligence. AI has become by far the most profitable and used technology in applications, and it has made many essential processes of this industry significantly faster and more convenient.
Tasks that were previously performed by humans are now performed by machines that think like humans, but thousands of times faster and more effectively. From customer support to online reservations, artificial intelligence is serving every aspect of the travel and tourism industry.
Let’s see exactly how artificial intelligence is changing the present and future of travel
A chatbot is a program designed to conduct conversations with humans through chat interfaces using artificial intelligence. Today more and more travel businesses are adopting this technology to personally assist clients with their inquiries. In a recent study from Salesforce , when respondents were asked if they had ever used a chatbot or not, 66% said they had interacted with a chatbot in the past month, the remaining 59% said they hadn’t used a chatbot, instead they had used a customer service phone line. Best of all, with further advances, clients won’t be able to tell the difference between a human or a robot, either by chatting or on the phone.
Data analysis has already transformed a wide range of industries and is benefitting the travel industry immensely. Artificial intelligence can analyze big data very quickly and efficiently, a process that would take weeks or months if it were to be done by humans. Using this data can help companies find out what matters to their customers, boost conversions and make better business plans. Whether it’s an airline, hotel, tour operators, or just customers, data analysis is bringing more personalized services to everyone at very high speeds.
As new payment options grow rapidly, it’s clear that these methods are moving from analog to digital in every market. In an industry like travel that is mostly digitized, all companies must adapt their services to these new payment methods. Cashless or electronic payment methods like online transactions, credit cards, and mobile payments are revolutionizing the way payments are processed, by improving operational efficiency and reducing cost.
Machine learning can personalize suggestions in a way never seen before. An artificial intelligence algorithm can obtain lots of insights, transform them into customized offerings and suggest deals that would be a good fit based on customers’ digital footprints. For example, a system can display different hotel photos to different travelers viewing the same accommodation, to which they may be more inclined to purchase. As day by day, more companies are adopting artificial intelligence to improve personalization, it’s become essential for customer satisfaction. Artificial intelligence is making the whole booking process more streamlined, improving the overall customer experience. A survey from Booking.com revealed that almost a third (29%) of global travelers say they are comfortable letting a computer plan an upcoming trip based on data from their previous travel history, and half (50%) don’t mind if they deal with a real person or computer, so long as any of their questions are answered.
Customers read online reviews and that can have a positive or a negative impact on their decision. However, all aspects can be managed with an online reputation management tool, which can provide a balanced view of how the business is perceived by its existing and future customers. Artificial intelligence plays a critical role in monitoring social media platforms and other customer review forums. Also, a reputation management tool powered by artificial intelligence can help a company ensure that any online mention in any platform is analyzed and classified as a positive comment or negative comment. The negative comments are quickly acted upon to guard the reputation of a company, and requests can be answered quickly.
There’s no doubt that artificial intelligence is much more than a temporary trend, it’s definitely come here to stay. All the things mentioned above are just a handful of all the advantages AI has to offer to the travel industry.
At Dynamia, we have been taking advantage of all the benefits that AI offers for a long time already. We’ve used AI with one of our clients to predict their customers’ travel behavior, increase bookings by 15%, and speed up platform times. Check out this case study to know more about the methodologies we used and the results we obtained!
Have you ever used a service or product powered by AI? Let us know what you think about this amazing technology in the comments!