Artificial Intelligence (AI) is refining itself with each passing day, making itself more reliable and efficient as a tech that is leading the industrial revolution 4.0. It is no doubt that artificial intelligence, alongside machine learning and natural language processing is being fully utilised by the travel and tourism industry; to perform a variety of administrative and customer service tasks.
The travel industry has always been an early technology adopter, especially with digital technology trends. Indeed, digital travel sales grew rapidly over the last several years, totalling $564.87 billion in 2016. And the number is expected to reach $817.54 billion by 2020. Moreover, travellers have been equally enthusiastic about adopting these new technological changes to make travel simpler and more enjoyable. From booking flights to choosing hotels, the development of AI into this sector has revolutionised and automated almost every process. This has also given rise to various business models such as Careem and Airbnb. This future-tech advancement makes the services more streamlined by adding a touch of personalisation through service bots and chat bots.
For instance Careem’s A.I. program, called Yoda, has a state-of-the-art machine-learning cycle. It can predict with 90% accuracy the demand of a certain place in a two weeks’ cycle and where drivers will be needed. This helps us ensure that waiting times are a low and the drivers can secure more fares.
If you use the Careem’s service for six months, the A.I. will be much more in-tune with your needs because it keeps learning how to provide you with a better service
These are a few example to show how AI is making lives easier for everybody.
Airlines like KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have begun to deploy AI to deal with social media inquiries. Their AI system, by end of 2017, was dealing with 50% of all inquiries. (i)
Hotel operator ‘Dorchester Collections’ altered its breakfast menu after AI analysed guest reviews and came up with customizing options. (ii)
Lola, a travel app for iPhones, combined AI with human agents to provide assistance for hotel bookings, flight schedules and advice on restaurants. (iii)
There are four key areas where AI can strongly impact travel to provide better assistance and elevate customer experience.
Personalised Digital Interactions via Conversational Voice-Based Assistants
Today, everything a traveller needs to do is available on the internet. From booking flights and making hotel reservations, to planning whole trips and enhancing your overall travel experience through
useful information and valuable suggestions about popular tourist destinations, places to eat or local attractions — these are the most popular ways to use AI bots. This procedure can be made easier by using conversational apps. Bots using Natural Language Processing (NLP) can be used to accomplish more complex personalization using AI. Kayak offers a chatbot service that provides updates on flight delays and gate changes, but it can also answer questions like “Where does £900 take me?” and “What are fun things to do in London this weekend?”
Facial Recognition uplifted by the means of Blockchain Technology
Travel especially crossing borders requires intensive scrutiny of all travel documents at different levels. Facial Recognition Technology promises to bring an end to these tiring paper-bound procedure. Using this technology, travellers can conveniently move through airports, stations and customs without the hassle of having their documents examined at every step. When combined with Blockchain, customers can access shops and lounges with a simple face scan. ShoCard is an organisation implementing this technology for airlines. Using a blend of Blockchain-based data and facial recognition techniques, ShoCard both streamlines how airlines verify passenger identities as well as facilitating real-time data flows at the airport.
Machine Learning (ML) the hidden star Airports across the globe are getting competitive in adopting analytics and artificial intelligence in their ecosystem. They are leveraging these technologies for many purposes — minimising the impact of disruption on the passenger experience, supporting the customers or making their services better, among others. ML is the hidden star in rising helping airlines as they are now able to suggest personalized offers, experiences and products from their inventory and partner catalogues. Moreover, ML can also use external data to proactively assist travellers to make quick decisions. One great example would be the Dubai International Airport – where machine learning is building the airport of the future. The company is using advanced machine learning techniques, powered by Splunk’s Enterprise platform, to transform the airport experience from start to finish.
Social Media with AI
Social media listening tools are a great asset to the travel industry. Using these tools travellers can provide real time updates and reviews of services such as delayed flight timings or places of interest at a tourist destination. This can be elevated through the usage of AI-powered bots, which can analyse unstructured data and respond appropriately by using natural language.
The travel and tourism industry thrives on people and by using these developments mentioned above they can not only make their application and procedures more user-friendly but also make their businesses more lucrative. In an industry where time is critical, and information is constantly changing, these are indispensable capabilities.
AI is ushering into almost all the industries today and making it more effective. Trescon is organising World AI Show in Dubai on the 24th – 25th of March, this year, where they will discuss more use case applications of AI in the travel and tourism industry. To know more about World AI Show, click here.