Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning are gradually empowering businesses by offering innovative ideas of performing various tasks with ease, accuracy and without human intervention. There is a broad scope of opportunities for AI and ML that can magically transform the world by improving customer service experience and minimising efforts. Furthermore, the travel industry has always been ahead in adapting to technological advancements. Even the travellers have shown equal enthusiasm to adopt these technology advancements as it makes their travel experience simpler and enjoyable. Talk about this subject in more depth on the world’s largest audio streaming platform. Buy soundcloud plays for greater visibility.
Before we further discuss the impacts of AI on the travel industry, let’s first understand what AI is and how it functions.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial Intelligence, also known as Machine Intelligence is a byproduct of computer science emphasising on designing intelligent machines that can function and react like humans. The technical definition of AI is performing various activities with machines bypassing any human intervention. The AI empowers devices to perform multiple tasks automatically such as interpreting speech, learning, decision-making, and training functions that typically require human intelligence.
How does AI function?
The primary source of AI functionality is data. In the modern internet age, businesses collect personal data from various sources. This massive pool of data is further evaluated with Big Data analytics and used to perform multiple tasks. Apart from speech recognition, private messaging and other tasks, AI also helps businesses to offer personalised experiences to the customers by providing personalised product recommendations. In short, with AI you can make a customer’s journey more personal and influential.
How is AI transforming the travel industry?
The travel industry is always on the acceptance level when it comes to technology. Airbnb and Uber are the perfect examples of advanced technology that have revolutionised the traditional means of travel. First websites and then mobiles, the travel industry has quickly adopted new technology trends to ease the overall travel experience.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have always existed, mostly in sci-fi movies. However, in recent years, after exploring the various opportunities, AI now has a presence across multiple industry sectors.
A couple of examples to illustrate the usage of AI in the travel industry:
KLM airlines have successfully used AI to answer social media queries. As of 2017, 50% of social media queries were attended to, using AI technology without any human intervention.
Dorchester Collections analyzes various reviews posted by the customers on multiple travel portals and accordingly offers a personalised breakfast menu to them.
Artificial intelligence and travel marketing
The travel industry has also started using AI technology for marketing campaigns to offer more robust and tailored experiences to the customers. Instead of traditional automated messages, the travel companies are coming up with more dynamic, real-time, personalised content using data science and machine learning.
Some of the examples of AI-enabled marketing campaigns are:
Latest updated flight details and gate changes:
Gone are the days when all we received was one email for our flight details. Gone are those days when only one email was dispatched, that contained our flight information. Now, we can obtain a series of emails with the latest flight information. With AI, we can leave all our worries about flight updates as from the moment we book the trip until the end of the journey all the necessary information is made available. Enabling a customer to be in the driver’s seat.
Live currency updates for international travellers:
The long immigration queues, visa procedures, and other hectic processes are enough to stress us out while flying internationally. With real-time messages and updates, you can enable customers to make the experience more seamless and hassle-free. Also, the travel companies now notify the customers about live currency exchange details to uplift their experiences.
Deliver destination details on arrival:
When a customer lands at the airport, they are notified about the live destination updates including weather forecast, traffic updates near the airport, hotel information, taxi-hiring assistance, and GPS directions. It is a far more satisfying experience for customers.
Digital interactions and Voice Assistants:
Nowadays, another source of travel information is the website. It facilitates customers about almost everything from destination selection, flight options and comparisons, budget estimations, booking, and cancellations. However, it is a time-consuming affair as they have to read different descriptions, terms and conditions and reviews offered by genuine travellers. In addition to that, sometimes, it creates a dilemma too.
However, the website dependency is no longer in the picture after the introduction of digital conversational apps that enable customers to ask direct questions and initiate conversations. These programmed Chatbots will answer customers’ queries and questions profoundly. These Chatbots are programmed with Natural Language Processing (NLP) and can also serve as voice assistants. If you want to order food, all you need to do is to command the voice assistant with “I am starving, order something for me.” That’s all! The bot knows your food preferences and selects accordingly and places an order that can be delivered to your location with an automatic location detection facility.
Furthermore, these Chatbots can help you while communicating with a person through a different language. In addition to that, you can rely on them during any emergencies and natural calamities too. AI-enabled assistants can work in your favour by offering instant answers during such emergencies.
Travellers often have to verify their travel and authorization documents many times during the trip. Sometimes, it is a tiring process as you have to carry all the documents wherever you go. How about a facial recognition technology that eliminates these paper-bound procedures? So that you don’t have to carry any document. Whether you visit airports, immigration, customs or any other places, just show your face, and you are all set!
Big Data and Machine Learning
How about getting personalised product recommendations based on your past search history, behaviour patterns, and shopping experiences? Yes, welcome to the magical world of Big Data and Machine Learning where travellers can be facilitated with preference-based deals and recommendations. Travel service providers also offer a wide range of products such as blankets to the choice of a seat to bags to clothes. They use machine learning technology to create highly tailored product recommendations for customers to improve revenues.
Social media listening tools:
If a traveller is frustrated with a delayed flight and writes a post on social media about it. There are social media tools that can help the travel company to address an issue to deliver a positive impact on such customers. In the above example, a travel company can offer a real-time flight schedule, additional information and some leisure activities that a traveller can opt for to kill time. You can also explain the flight delay and offer some additional discount on the next trip.
Robotic Baggage Handling
Across the world, AI promises the travel industry to minimise the incidents of mishandled bags by offering a robotic baggage handling facility. A baggage handling robot will collect the luggage from the traveller and take care of it during the entire transportation process. One of the most potent baggage handling robots is Leo, developed by SITA labs.
Flight and Hotel price forecasting
Yes, with AI, it is possible. You know that the hotel and flight rates do change almost daily due to various parameters. There are numerous such tools developed that give travellers the latest updates and forecasting messages about possible hikes in the prices and hot deals and discount offers.
Here, an algorithm is built after evaluating the historical data of previous years to predict the future price movements.
Artificial Intelligence has exemplary opportunities that can open many doors of possibilities throughout the world. The travel industry has always been open to accepting advanced technology to provide a superior experience to the customers. There are many crucial technological developments in progress to improve the quality of experience of travellers. The future of the travel industry seems fascinating due to artificial intelligence and machine learning.