How does AI improve travel experience? Benefits & Use-cases

The travel industry has recently been adapting and implementing AI technology in its systems. By 2026, the market is forecasted to reach a staggering $1.2 billion. Significant breakthroughs made in big data, robotics, & computing are said to be the reasons behind this sudden spike. This is what’s called the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Whether it is predictive analytics or forecasting, conversational AI in tourism or chatbots, personalization, and recommendation, AI is set to take over the travel & tourism industry and change the experience of travel and vacation experiences for customers. You can plan your trips, adjust your budget, arrange reasonable accommodations, book tickets, and basically, plan your holidays in a matter of seconds with AI. So is AI going to make traveling more convenient? How early adoption of AI can set travel & tourism companies apart from their competitors and what could be the consequences of over-reliance on this technology? Let’s find out!

The enormous role of AI in tourism and hospitality industry

AI is leaving its mark on almost every industry including the travel and hospitality industry. The impact of artificial intelligence in tourism industry extends to optimizing the entire customer journey, from booking to post-travel experiences. Smart use of Artificial Intelligence in travel industry can be very helpful for this industry in improving customer experience and creating impactful marketing strategies that ultimately convert into a profitable customer retention rate. Companies can gather raw data which consists of scattered consumer information and analyze this data to offer valuable insights like understanding the preferences of guests and monetizing their data. Machine learning in the travel industry is revolutionizing how businesses analyze and utilize customer data to enhance personalized travel experiences. To stand out from competitors, travel and tourism companies can try to make this experience more personalized and enjoyable for their customers. In earlier days, customers had to manually research flight tickets, plan itineraries, and toggle various settings to finally get what they wanted. However, innovations in AI in tourism and hospitality, ML, and data science have completely changed the travel experience for tourists and streamlined management for the travel and tourism industry. The impact of artificial intelligence in tourism industry extends to optimizing resource management, improving efficiency, and reducing operational costs.

How can tourists and travelers benefit from AI?

1. Personalized customer journey and retention

It can be very frustrating to search and book hotels and accommodations while traveling. But AI can help in automating and personalizing the booking process leaving time for you to focus on planning the rest of your trip. You can simply set the radius of the area you are looking for and find a bunch of options to discover, compare, and confirm bookings with each other to pick a suitable accommodation. 

2. Language translation and multilingual support

Companies can set up multilingual booking interfaces with features for booking, recommendations, navigation, and responses for customers that allow multiple payment gateways and accept various currencies. In this way, they can gather revenue from travelers from diverse countries who speak different languages and provide an enriching and delightful user experience.

3. Weather and Traffic predictions

Traffic flow prediction models help in generating real-time content by accurately monitoring the volume and density of traffic flows and mitigating traffic congestion. This helps in optimizing travel routes, fuel consumption, and reducing carbon emissions. The integration of machine learning in the travel industry enhances route planning and logistics, optimizing transportation schedules and improving efficiency in travel operations. Similarly, weather forecasting models keep the masses informed by forecasting weather conditions and warn tourists of hazards such as hurricanes, heavy rain, and tornadoes.

4. Fraud detection and prevention

AI picks up anomalies or strange patterns in large data sets that seem suspicious. It monitors the transactions made by customers and gives alerts for any fraudulent activities in case it notices any deviation from natural behavior. Fraud detection algorithms help separate genuine customers from fraudulent ones and help businesses maintain their integrity and prevent loss in monetary value.

5. Baggage handling

Baggage handling systems (BHS) analyze the BHS charts and graphs and offer recommendations to the user based on their results. They classify traveler’s luggage and compare that with a collection of pictures stored in a library. With the help of these pictures, they provide information on the manufacturer, origin, kind, color, IATA classification, and dimensions. Data quality improves with time, and their optimization capability gets brushed up.


How is AI utilized in the travel and tourism industry?


1. Virtual assistants and chatbots

Travel chatbots are the new navigators of the tourism world since they can blend technology with a personal touch. Chatbots act like digital travel agents and are available 24/7 to help with everything from booking flights to finding the perfect hotel for you. The use of AI in travel industry has revolutionized customer service with chatbots providing instant assistance and booking options. They easily adapt to individual travel styles and offer real-time support to personalize the consumer's journey based on the consumer data.

2. Facial recognition systems

By matching faces to a database, hotels can quickly identify guests and offer personalized services to them. Facial recognition also improves security by verifying guests' identities for access to facilities and alerting staff to troublesome individuals. This technology is prevalent in airport check-ins and boarding for managing passenger flow. One such example is the use of facial recognition systems at Marriott, China where the guests use facial recognition kiosks for quick check-ins and it helps reduce their waiting time.

3. Predictive maintenance

Much like regularly checking your car’s tire pressure to avoid flat tires, predictive maintenance involves continuously monitoring equipment conditions using sensors and advanced analytics. In the aviation sector, predictive maintenance utilizes advanced analytics and sensor data to anticipate component failures.  Similarly, in the hospitality sector, predictive maintenance helps hotels and resorts anticipate malfunctions in facilities such as elevators, HVAC systems, and kitchen appliances to prevent disruptions and improve passenger safety. The use of AI in travel industry is expected to continue growing, with advancements in robotics and AI-powered concierge services reshaping the future of hospitality and travel experiences.

4. Sentimental analysis

Sentiment analysis involves identifying and extracting the polarity (positive, negative, or neutral) and intensity (strong, weak, or mixed) of emotions and is useful for understanding customer needs, preferences, and satisfaction levels. For example, tools like Google Cloud Natural Language API and IBM Watson can provide deep insights into customer emotions and opinions and assist travel companies in enhancing their services and customer experiences.  


Future of Artificial Intelligence in travel industry

1. Quantum computing

Quantum computing helps in train scheduling and preventing derailments by optimizing the most effective routes efficiently. It can schedule trains and avert conflicts and delays. Other than that, this technology helps in optimizing train speed to lower fuel consumption and travel time.

2. Conversational AI

From itinerary planning to on-site assistance, Conversational AI in tourism has been revolutionary in developing chatbots that offer help to diverse traveler needs across different generations. This technology makes your trip more accessible, enjoyable, and personalized than ever before. 


3. Explainable AI (XAI)

While the model's accuracy might be high, travelers and travel agents alike need to comprehend why certain destinations, activities, or accommodations are suggested over others. This is where the role of explainable AI comes into play.


4. Transfer learning

Transfer learning becomes essential when dealing with large amounts of hotel photos, frequently with differing quality and relevance, on travel sites. Using pre-trained neural network models developers can accelerate the process of training models to categorize hotel photos.

At Webelight Solutions, we're leading the charge with advanced AI solutions tailored for the travel sector. From personalized recommendations and seamless booking experiences to predictive analytics and smart customer service through chatbots, our AI/ML expertise ensures that travel companies can exceed customer expectations and stay ahead in the cut-throat market. 

Get in touch with us to integrate AI and redefine the travel experience of your customers.