How does Artificial Intelligence impact the Travel and Tourism Industry?

With the emergence of artificial travel intelligence, it is simpler than ever to make travel arrangements. Artificial Intelligence offers travel services that are automated, customized and insightful. AI allows travelers to learn about their behaviours, interests to inclinations and provide a personalized experience. Technology is getting smarter every day. Gone are the days to consult a travel agent, meet him physically, and indulge in an endless chain of troubling phone calls to inquire about travel arrangements. Let’s look at some of the most recent developments:

Dynamic Hotel tours

The use of technology to supply virtual tours of buildings and hotel rooms is one of the most effective samples of Virtual Reality in practice that can be observed in the business of travel. A significant advantage of this is, it helps potential customers to ascertain what the hotel looks like before they arrive.

Such experiences that are known as a taster, are provided on the website of the building, or the distributor’s website, and oftentimes make use of a Virtual Reality headset. The virtual experience, in several cases, consists primarily of a static 360-degree image that is compatible with social media platforms and a lot of common VR technologies, like Google cardboard.

VR-induced Booking APIs

Many businesses took a step ahead, and with the use of VR, providing a full booking method and a UI that may be viewed through a VR headset. It primarily replaces the requirement to use a standard mouse or a touch screen to book a flight or a hotel.

When integrated with different uses for a virtual reality, this will produce by far a seamless booking experience, wherever the user will get a platform to explore various rooms and facilities in a hotel, compare and contrast type of rooms, locate native sights, and look for key information or facts, all that are available at one platform.

Enhanced travel experiences

Finally, VR presents an opportunity for hotels, travel agents and other organisations in the touristy business to supply virtual travel experience for prospective customers. This implies that users can explore a number of attractions that are seemingly drawing attention in the first place to a location.

For example, a Paris hotel might give virtual experience of what it’s like to be at the top of the Eiffel Tower, On the other hand, a hotel that is in the vicinity of a theme park. The significant advantage of this is often the ability to sell hotels, flights and travel goods that compliments their experiences.

Augmented Reality – Gamification

Augmented Reality possesses a powerful link to the whole another world of gaming, and the travel business has started taking advantage of this, to improve the overall customer experience. A mobile application with Augmented Reality will treat it as a real-life tour guide. 

Augmented Reality applications for the travel domain will enable travelers to learn more about destinations through the interface of the camera viewfinder. The mobile application identifies places of importance as the camera catches the scenery in the area and provides additional information about it. 

Most AR apps and gamified systems can be viewed and accessed from a smart device at any time, allowing users to learn and revisit the content at their own speed, regardless of where they are. This is basically an essential requirement at a time when home-based and remote work is becoming more common than ever before.

Forecasting ‘Flight Fares’ & ‘Hotel Prices’ 

Flight and hotel rates are constantly changing and vary considerably depending on the provider. No one has time to manually monitor all those shifts. In the travel industry, therefore, smart tools that track and send timely alerts with hot deals are currently in high demand.

Fareboom.com, an AI-powered travel website that facilitates bookings can collect past or historical data that consists of millions of information of searching fares dating back to several years.

Based on past information, this self-learning algorithm is developed, which is capable of Predicting future movement of prices based on factors such as: – 

  1. Seasonal Trends
  2. Demand Growth
  3. Airlines Special Offers and deals etc.

Another AI application named Hopper that uses data science to help the travelers/passenger book cheaper flights with the use of Applied Predictive Analytics.

Analytics-based forecasting tools, as described above, have therefore proven to be a valuable addition to an established travel booking platform or agency website. Most of these methods could be used in other niche areas of the travel and hospitality industry when booking a flight.

It can be used to predict shifts in hotel prices, tell you how soon all rooms in a certain hotel will be booked or even suggest alternative routes for your trips according to weather forecasts or the airport load expected on a given day, not only to help users save money but also to make traveling more enjoyable. 

Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment analysis is the supervised learning branch that attempts to explore textual data in order to identify and score emotional and factual qualities.

90 percent of U.S. travelers with a smartphone, according to Amadeus, share their experiences and images in social media and service reviews. TripAdvisor has a global following of 390 million and 435 million ratings. About 280 traveler reviews are sent to the website each minute.

A software by Google, known as the Google Cloud Natural Language API, is an off-the-shelf programming interface that can be modified and combined with analytical tools to evaluate all brand-related feedback in real-time.

The sophistication of natural language processing and sentiment analysis allows reliable analytical tools to be implemented without requiring time to collect data.

Fraud Detection

According to the Juniper Research report, the most suffering from E-Commerce fraud is airlines and travel industries. The organizations lose billions of dollars each year in order to compensate consumers for their stolen money.

Analysis of customer behavior using profiling and machine learning techniques can help prevent and detect illegal transactions. The Italian online booking company Wanderio partnered with Pi School to use fraud detection AI technology.

Using new-age technology, the final average cost-per-transaction was improved for Wanderio. Fraud detection AI tools are not only appropriate for online platforms. 

Hotel Tonight’s mobile booking app also used a customized machine learning model to predict and detect fraud that helped them to reduce charges to 50 percent.

After all, AI solutions will help a traveler not only on the way to a destination but also during a stay in a hotel. Guests can become more relaxed with voice-enabled virtual assistants in rooms. You can set room temperature, change the light, turn on and off TV, for example. Hotels will speed up check-in and make stay safer with facial recognition.

In many hotels around the world, such aspects of hotel-in-stay experience as facial recognition and voice-enabled services are already running. According to the Oracle Hotel study 2025, 78% of hotels will update suites with voice-controlled gadgets and 68% will use robots for check-in and check-out by 2025. Wynn Las Vegas has fitted all the rooms with the Amazon Echo speaker.

Safeco Field Suits use it not only in the rooms but also to recommend what to do in the city during your stay. 

The Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel in London uses a chat-bot called Edward, another hotel in Las Vegas Cosmopolitan Hotel has a chat-bot entitled Rose, another virtual concierge who answers any questions and helps 24/7. 

The receptionists at Henn Na Hotel are robots, the porter is also a robot and visitors must record their facial images when checking in instead of providing electronic keys.

As of today, safe robust data handling, personalized differentiation, personalization and sufficient decision making are the key challenges related to AI. Artificial intelligence is a new form of intelligence, which is able to synthesize several different ideas simultaneously. Today’s technological revolution requires effectiveness, sustainability and productivity at the same time. The use of artificial intelligence – which can be utilized in numerous different fields – especially in travel industry. AI-operated chat-bots and other smart solutions used by different service providers enable the development of personalized offers. 

Although AI-related solutions are still not widespread within the tourism sector, they are predicted to be used more often in the future in order to increase the quality of the products and services. The further expansion of artificial intelligence will have a positive impact on the future of the tourism industry.

This article is co-authored by Prof Raul Villamarin Rodriguez, Abhishek Saxena & Soumya Singh, Universal Business School.