Artificial Intelligence (AI) to me is daunting. Every time I read and research about AI, I feel like I am entering a maze. I find myself getting pulled into the vortex deeper and deeper, with no way out. Yes, it scares me, but it also excites me at the same time.
AI is not something you can ignore. It is everywhere.
……When you download an app,
…..When you order stuff online,
….When you book your flights and hotels through web portals,
AI is there like a watchdog, keeping track of you through all the data you have entered. This post on AI will be just one of the many I will be writing about, considering the vast amount of work AI is doing through the various applications used within and about the Travel and Hospitality industry.
Thanks to the combination of enormous data stored on the expanding processes and applications of AI, and the ever up-and-coming technological capabilities, we are embarking on a journey where you can expect radical changes in how people get on and off planes, and how airlines get their planes in and out of airports.
The travel industry has always been at the forefront of technology adoption, either through computerised reservation systems (CRS), online bookings, social media presence or direct messaging. And now with AI being at the helm of things you can expect a lot more personalised online interactions and marketing intelligence to revenue management and ticket pricing.
For instance working through its core model of a digital travel booking website, AI is able to access and collect historical data about millions of fare searches going back several years and create a algorithm, capable of predicting the future price movements seasonal trends, predicting travel choices, manage in trip and post trip needs , special airlines offers and deals.
Today, a traveller has all the information he needs at the click of a button. Travellers can plan where they want to go, compare options, weigh budgets and make bookings and cancellations.
At the airports, AI addresses more serious issues such as flight disruptions, baggage handling, complex embarkation and disembarkation processes or lost cargo consignments.
Airline travel requires repeated scrutiny of travel documents both at departure and arrivals by different sets of people. Facial recognition technology brings an end to the tiresome paper-bound processes. On my recent trip to Singapore the immigration at Changi Airport got over in a breeze thanks to facial recognition and bio-metrics.
With facial recognition, travelers can seamlessly move through airports, immigration, customs and board aircrafts without the need for having travel documents scrutinized at each step.
Most hotels and resorts rely heavily on delivering excellent customer service to build their reputation and AI technology makes this happen in a wide variety of different ways. For example, a robot concierge service is being offered at some hotels. The robot gives real-time recommendations for visit-worthy sites and attractions and answers customer queries on the spot. A robot can also offer tailor made recommendations and guarantee fast response times, in the absence of staff.
Hotels and airlines have used AI to sort through customer feedback from surveys, reviews and online polls, in order to build a clearer picture of current opinion. Service Providers who redeem themselves after a bad experience almost always win back the customer trust and get repeat business.
In an industry where time is critical, and information is constantly changing, AI reduces the time taken to complete tasks while improving the accuracy of processes and outcomes.
Models such as Airbnb and Uber are proof of the successful usage of AI in travel and hospitality.
Having little or no human interaction may be the calling card of the future, but let’s not forget one thing here. We are beings with numerous emotions running through our veins. We may adapt to being ‘handled’ by a robot, but only so much. At the end of the day we would however love to see a smile and feel understood.
I believe that technology is just amazing, but let’s never forget to
“Put the heart in the smart”
If you think there are more revolutionary ways in which AI will transform the travel and hospitality industry, please share your views in the comments below. TIA