Business has been using Artificial Intelligence for quite some time, but there’s been significant growth in the last few years because of advances in areas like machine learning and natural language processing. No other sector is as poised to leverage the rapid advances in AI as the travel and hospitality industry where consumer satisfaction is crucial to beating your competition.
Travel companies now possess a wealth of information about customers, including traveler profiles, behavioral history, and personal preferences. Applying machine learning to travel data opens up a wealth of opportunities to improve the traveler experience. This makes the travel and hospitality sector well suited to ride the next wave of AI in order to build intelligent applications that take the customer experience to new levels of personalization and comfort.
Since its introduction to the sector, AI’s influence has spread to almost every aspect of the travel and hospitality industry experience. while delivering traveler journeys, hospitality, service, and loyalty programs.
Let’s examine the major use cases where AI technology is currently being utilized to dramatically change travel and hospitality products and services.
Intelligent Travel Bots and Recommendation Engines
‘Chatbots’ have emerged as highly visible examples of machine learning at work in the travel and hotel-booking experience. Their sophistication is constantly improving as the machines keep learning to simulate human conversation using NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) techniques. Lufthansa and Kayak are notable examples of the successful use of chatbot-based automation bringing convenience and efficiency to customers.
Price Forecasting and Flexibility
Travel agencies and aggregators use machine learning and predictive data analytics to forecast and dynamically optimize their revenue management systems. Algorithms to dynamically identify matching properties, sentiment analysis to identify optimum room rates and real-time segmentation to assure hotel bookings are optimized for the right customer at the right time and price.
Automated Travel Management
Consumers are expected to make percent of all digital booking via mobile devices by 2019. By automating transactions that don’t add value for both companies and travelers, automation will save valuable man hours and resources. Airline companies use AI to give unprecedented options to manage all aspects of the physical travel experience — like providing real-time updates and support to travelers in case of disruptions.
Customer Service and Loyalty
The ability of AI to personalize the delivery of content, services, customer support and loyalty programs could potentially transform how the industry markets and delivers services. For instance, innovations like Hilton’s Connie, the first true AI-powered concierge robot, is capable of adapting recommendations of local attractions and activities for each guest.
AI in Travel and Hospitality: A Huge Opportunity
A recent McKinsey study found that The travel and hospitality sector has the opportunity to retain and delight customers, and propel growth with new AI-based services for better customer engagement, experience personalization, and AI-powered customer service.