Artificial intelligence has an amazing capacity of performing tasks that otherwise require human cognitive abilities. This ability allows for industries like tourism to deploy artificial intelligence and save both time and money – all while minimizing human error and streamlining tasks.
Delivering excellent customer service is essential for business success in the travel industry, as reputation is everything. Artificial intelligence technology can help by improving personalization, offering fast response times to customer queries, and tailoring recommendations.
In this article, we’ll go over a few things you need to know about artificial intelligence in tourism, and how it’s helping to shape the industry:
- Flight and hotel rate forecasting
- Intelligent travel assistants
- Smart recommendations
- Robot-to-face customer service
- Disruption management optimization
- Data analytics
- Social media listening
Flight and hotel rate forecasting
Depending on the provider, flight and hotel rates can change in real-time, which makes smart algorithms a necessity. These monitor rates and send alerts to customers on the best deals, being in high demand in the travel industry.
Trivago, for example, looks over a large number of data points, supply and demand models, and variables to allow for optimized recommendations of hotel prices. The team at AltexSoft designed an innovative fare prediction tool based on historical data from millions of fare searches. The self-learning algorithm can forecast future price movements based on demand growth, seasonal trends, deals, and airline specials.
Intelligent travel assistants
Chatbots can be a big asset across industries, including tourism. Skyscanner, for example, has a smart bot on Facebook Messenger that helps customers find their flights. It also accepts travel recommendation requests and unplanned suggestions.
Aero Mexico also has a Facebook Messenger chatbot helping to answer general questions from customers. By answering 80% of queries, the most common topics and FAQs, it can then help free up time for employees and streamline customer service. KLM, the Dutch airline, uses an algorithm from Digital Genius, having learned from more than 50,000 questions and answers to provide excellent customer service.
Trivago, the international hotel search engine, is a machine learning company that has recommendation and personalization technology, which allows for a customer-centric approach. The algorithm offers a tailored experience with travel recommendations that identify user trends on social media. It then compares the trends to internal data from users with similar interests.
KePSLA, a travel recommendation platform, uses natural language processing (NLP) and deep learning to help hotels and the travel industry offer their guests personalized services.
Robot-to-face customer service
Face-to-face customer service is evolving. Say hello to robot-to-face interactions, which aim at cutting queues at reception desks and improving the overall efficiency of hotel operations. Meet ‘Connie’, Hilton’s robot (launched in 2016) that uses artificial intelligence and speech recognition to offer information to guests.
Powered by IBM’s Watson, Connie has its own inquiry desk next to the hotel’s reception area. With every human interaction, it gets smarter and it improves its communication quality.
Disruption management optimization
With its goal being to solve real-world problems that travelers could come across, automated disruption management is mainly applied to professional and business travel. The travel disruption risk is high, with hundreds of canceled flights and delays every day.
Artificial intelligence is helping to predict disruptions and minimize losses to both travelers and companies. Amadeus, which is the world’s leading Global Distribution System, or GDS, has a schedule recovery system that helps airlines minimize their risk of travel disruptions.
Artificial intelligence in tourism has more applications than just customer service. It can be an effective tool to gather information and interpret data, drawing conclusions about customers’ habits, pricing strategies, and business practices.
Its ability to analyze large amounts of data quickly and accurately makes artificial intelligence an important asset. The Dorchester Collection hotel has previously used artificial intelligence to look over customer feedback from online polls, surveys, and reviews for better insights in real time.
Social media listening
Social media listening tools, which we’ve previously alluded to, are important for the travel industry. By knowing what customers want through their social posts, companies have important insights into how customers feel before they travel, while they’re traveling, and after.
What were their main issues with the journey? Did their flight get delayed? Was the hotel room inadequate?
Mindtree’s PaxPulse looks into customers’ intent, automatically reaching out to them so they have a positive impact, like offering discounts.