28 Jul AI and tourism: can Artificial Intelligence relaunch the sector?
Tourism has been one of the sectors most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the restrictions on movement, significant losses have been recorded in the whole sector, which is still braving a tough recovery.
In recent years, however, tourism has witnessed, in more broad terms, a level of substantial growth on a global scale. In the same period, the field of AI research has also achieved some outstanding goals. This has increased the number of opportunities to use new technology in different categories of business. So, is there a relationship between AI and tourism?
It seems so. The pandemic accelerated the use of AI in many businesses and the adopters are already seeing at least a 5% revenues increase from this activity. The latest travel trends also show that the majority of tourists at this point are making their own travel arrangements completely independently as a result of self-service technologies.
How can artificial intelligence be beneficial to the travel industry?
In a constantly evolving situation such as this, the role of artificial intelligence seems to be increasingly significant. The relationship between AI and tourism can indeed generate innovative ways to personalise the services offered and the user experience.
AI systems enable the rapid processing of a large number of data and, from these, the extraction of information useful to the development of automated models. Specifically, new technology applied to the tourism industry can be useful in speeding up the booking process, getting to know consumer behaviours better and predicting them, providing personalised recommendations and improving the travel experience of customers.
In any case, AI systems are not designed to completely replace human intervention. However, in this way the operators in the sector can dedicate more time to solving complex problems, letting machines deal with simpler issues that they can settle by themselves.
AI and tourism: which tools can be used in the industry?
There truly are so many tools and technological projects that can be implemented to support the travel industry. Here are some examples:
Chatbots and smart speakers
Chatbots, integrated with apps and websites, are capable of providing travellers with quick assistance,
without any constraints on working hours. As a matter of fact, these automated systems ensure
24/7 service, responding immediately to simple requests by customers.
In addition, chatbots are able to store data on individual customers and then utilise the information gathered to offer personalised recommendations. These systems can provide assistance via voice or text; innovative models of smart speakers actually allow you to communicate directly with a virtual assistant.
Facial recognition systems and virtual reality (VR) technology
Facial recognition systems allow tourist facilities to quickly check the identification and documents of
travellers, thereby speeding up the check-in and security process.
VR technology permits facilities in the industry to show customers 3D images of the accommodations on offer. In this way, travellers can take virtual tours of the rooms available, but they can also have a preview of various travel experiences and plan their trip in more detail.
Instant voice translation and camera integration services
Instant voice translation systems can help travellers communicate quickly and effectively with the locals.
Audio-speech services actually capture the message spoken by a user and immediately return a new message that has been translated in the selected language. If someone is unable to write, for whatever reason, then that user is allowed to communicate just the same in a language other than their own.
Camera integration systems instead make it possible to instantly translate parts of text that have been scanned with a smartphone camera. This service can be used to translate, for example, street maps, menus and a variety of other texts.
Data collection and analysis
In broader terms, data collection services offer the ability to store an enormous amount of information
about customers and their preferences. These precious bits of information can then be used again to better understand the tastes of a particular target market, plan customised offers and improve user experience.
As the relationship between AI and tourism continues to evolve, it is uncovering new opportunities but new challenges as well, especially on the matter of privacy and data safety. Indeed, new technologies must deal with potential technological complications and threats, which it will be possible to resolve
in the future through the development of ground-breaking solutions.