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November 14, 2018

How is artificial intelligence changing the future of travel?

The travel industry used to be reticent when it came to incorporating evolving technology into the mix. This is not the case anymore. Companies are adopting various technologies so as to improve operational efficiency and meet customers’ ever-increasing demands. The travel industry is reacting to the public cry for innovation. Taking into consideration that the tech-centric revolution is already here, it does not come as a surprise that an industry that is so vital for economic development is increasingly turning to technology.

The route to booking travel arrangements has changed. Applications make online booking simple and fast. They also make it easy to obtain foreign currency. However, this is not enough for the travelers of today. It seems that nothing can make them happy nowadays. Yes, but that does not mean that it is not worth trying. Travel revolves around meaningful interrelationships. In order to be successful, companies need to use more than computer systems and mobile communication. What they have to do is take advantage of the newest technologies, such as artificial intelligence.

What has AI to do with traveling? Well, artificial intelligence is making its mark on the travel industry. It is behind many innovations and has helped the industry evolve. Some companies are investing heavily in computer systems that are able to perform tasks necessitating human intelligence. And no, this does not mean that there will be fewer jobs for people. As long as the travel industry does not exaggerate with AI, there is nothing to worry about.

Artificial intelligence and the travel industry

Technology has changed the way that we travel. That is a fact. What many do not realize is that technology continues to have a high impact on how we book holidays. Speaking of artificial intelligence, this branch of computer science has made it possible to eliminate manual jobs and reduce the time necessary for managing customer relationships. When it comes to the travel industry, AI is all about ensuring better travel experiences. In addition to making booking child’s play, machine intelligence helps travelers get the best possible price and avoid inconveniences.

There are three main types of AI systems that are currently used in the travel world:

  • Machine learning – Machine learning, as well as predictive analytics, are redefining the notion of travel. The main focus is on operations, marketing, and customer insights. In aviation, for instance, machine learning is used in order to identify optimal air routes and timing of flights.
  • Chatbots - Conversational commerce caters to millennials’ singular preferences. From booking hotels on the Internet to searching for rental cars at affordable prices, there is no inquiry that chatbots cannot undertake.
  • TravelbotsTravelbots serve as personal assistants, helping consumers by answering their queries, providing them recommendations, and sending price alerts every now and then. The technology in question is already used via Facebook (News - Alert) Messenger by many organizations.

The use of artificial intelligence in visa applications

It is thought that the use of AI in visa applications is a good thing. And why would it not be? Thanks to this branch of computer science, authorities will be able to determine what visa applicants are doubtful or not. Surprisingly, there are many problems relating to visa applications. Employees are required to assess a great deal of information pertaining to the application, data which leads to the approval or refusal. Since most of the information is collected from paper applications and the assessment is perfumed manually, there is not a high degree of reliability. This is the reason why many governments want to use artificial intelligence in the screening process.

Visa applications increase by the year. Australia is one of the countries that plan to use AI so as to spot doubtful applicants. Maybe India will follow in their footsteps. It is not a secret that more and more people apply for an India visa. A new solution would allow authorities to determine an applicant’s eligibility and make well-informed decisions. The use of artificial intelligence does not affect the decision-making process in a negative way. A system that is based on cutting-edge technology does not produce errors, not to mention that there is no room for assumptions. Intelligent chatbots are traveling the world, so why should AI not be deployed in the visa application process.

Artificial intelligence is re-imagining the future of travel

Where is the travel industry heading? This is a question that many would like answered. No matter what will happen in future time, it is certain that innovation will be in the picture. Robots are finding their way to luxury accommodation and cruise ships. Very soon, they will master the airport baggage process. Artificial intelligence can bring about significant changes when it comes to travel. Here are just a few examples of areas that can be enhanced with the help of computer science:

  • Facial recognition – In the future, travelers will be boarding planes using only their faces as proof of identity. Facial recognition can eliminate complex embarkation and disembarkation processes. Naturally, it should be used in combination with blockchain, which ensures data is readily available for completing transactions.
  • Persuasion – In order to develop long-lasting relationships, it is necessary to go the extra mile. How does one persuade customers without pushing them? Only robots know the secret. Bots are more persuasive than us, so they can convince people to buy. Applying AI in the world of travel is, therefore, something to look forward to. Robots are not weapons of mass destruction.
  • Social media – To “listen”, companies make use of social media, tracking keywords, hashtags, and URLs. Until now, they have not been able to decipher social sentiment. Artificial intelligence tools can help gather information about whether or not a customer is frustrated. When someone makes a social media post, the listening tool examines the purpose and makes an intervention.

It is of paramount importance to understand that travel is personal, emotional, and, last but not least complex. Efficient automation is something to be desired by both companies and customers alike. More often than not, people are using AI without even knowing it. They are reaping the benefits from AI, but have no idea.

Final thoughts

Companies are making tremendous efforts to stay ahead of the competition and they will stand at nothing when it comes to offering their clients the most relevant service. Needless to say, this includes the adoption of artificial intelligence. To truly improve customer experience, organizations need to understand the potential of the new technology and, of course, apply it.

Travelers – in other words, the end users - are the ones that truly benefit from the implementation of artificial intelligence. Why? Because they do not have to do a thing. Regular individuals can plan a trip at the click of a button. If they happen to have any questions, the virtual assistant is there to cater to their needs. Simple features on the device like Google (News - Alert) Maps and virtual assistants are AI-focused.

What more could we want? AI is not meant to replace human interaction. It is all about offering exceptional travel experiences, which is what everyone wants, after all. At this point, we do not even care how the future of travel will look like because we have guarantee that it is going to be one-of-a-kind.

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