5 Ways Artificial Intelligence is Changing Travel and Tourism

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How AI is shaping the travel industry of the future.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

It has nothing to do with human-hungry robots controlling a post-apocalyptic dystopian world.

Simply put, Artificial Intelligence [AI], is when machines or computers are recruited to perform tasks that would usually require human intelligence.

Examples of what AI computers can deal with range from complex financial decisions, the ability to learn and improve new tasks from data-input, recommendations, as well as with recognizing and interpreting speech.  

While this computer science field has existed for decades, it is only recently that AI has improved and become reliable enough to perform complex tasks without human supervision.

In this article we’ll explore 5 ways Artificial Intelligence has changed the way we travel.

1. Customer Service on Steroids

Providing online customer services is probably the most exciting use of AI for hotels and other tourism businesses. With most information instantly accessible online, customers expect fast response times from any company’s customer services. AI-powered chatbots on social media business pages, and on dedicated instant-messaging apps, are able to respond to questions and provide useful information to customers even when there is no human service staff available. AI basically allows travel businesses to deliver customer service response times that would be impossible for humans.  

2. Robot Hospitality

Robotics is the most spectacular application of AI. Not quite Star Wars yet, but heading there soon. Another emerging trend for AI functions within the Tourism industry and involves face-to-face customer service interactions with artificially intelligent robots. Connie, a welcome-robot at Hilton Hotels, uses AI and speech recognition to provide any customers who speak to it with tourist information. In addition, the future quality of communication between hotel customers and AI-robots, gradually improves as the robot is able to learn and memorize from each human interaction.

3. Data Processing & Analysis

Humans will always take time and probably make a few errors when sifting through and analyzing large amounts of data. Artificially intelligent machines can do the same job much faster, cheaper and with zero errors – if you teach them what they have to do well enough. A widely popular and effective use of AI within the travel and tourism industries is essentially gathering and processing huge amounts of data in order to shape business strategies, as well as to draw conclusions about customer needs.

4. Recommendations

Well-trained, AI-powered platforms can offer amazingly useful travel tips or help you customize your travel plans with speed and ease. For example, UtripPRO uses machine learning algorithms to partner businesses and companies within the travel and tourism industry and generate targeted customer travel recommendations. Anything from car rentals, flights, hotels and top sightseeing can all be planned and booked from a one-stop travel platform. Artificially intelligent travel websites not only enhance the user’s personalized experience; in most cases they also save time and money.

5. Augmented Reality Apps

Artificial Intelligence naturally leads to Augmented Reality [AR]. This is a type of digital technology which enhances peoples’ perceptions of their environments when viewed through dedicated devices or smartphones. The technology augments a user’s real environment with an overlay of digital elements. As most travellers today never leave home without their smartphone, the step towards AR-enabled travel apps seems like a no-brainer. National tourism organizations, hotel chains and top tourist sites – they all use AR apps to improve the overall visitor experience with interactivity and instantly accessible information.

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