Travel and tourism are among the most popular and rewarding activities in the world. Millions of people travel every year to explore new places, cultures, and experiences. However, travel and tourism can also be challenging, stressful, and time-consuming. That’s where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in.
AI is the technology that enables machines to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as understanding language, recognizing images, making decisions, and learning from data. AI is transforming various aspects of travel and tourism, making them easier and more enjoyable for both travelers and service providers. Here are some of the ways AI is doing that:
One of the most common challenges for travelers is finding the best destinations, activities, and accommodations that suit their preferences, budgets, and schedules. AI can help with that by analyzing large amounts of data from various sources, such as online reviews, social media, booking platforms, and user behavior. AI can then provide personalized recommendations that match the traveler’s needs and wants.
For example, AI can suggest the best time to visit a certain place, based on factors such as weather, crowds, prices, and events. AI can also recommend the best attractions, restaurants, and hotels, based on the traveler’s interests, tastes, and feedback. AI can even create customized itineraries, taking into account the traveler’s goals, duration, and mode of transportation.
Another common challenge for travelers is getting the information and assistance they need before, during, and after their trip. AI can help with that by providing smart assistance through various channels, such as chatbots, voice assistants, and mobile apps. AI can answer questions, provide tips, and solve problems, using natural language processing and machine learning.
For example, AI can help travelers book flights, hotels, and tours, by finding the best deals, options, and availability. AI can also help travelers check-in, board, and navigate, by providing real-time updates, reminders, and directions. AI can even help travelers cope with emergencies, such as lost luggage, missed flights, or medical issues, by providing support, guidance, and solutions.
A third common challenge for travelers is enhancing their experiences and making them more memorable and meaningful. AI can help with that by providing enhanced experiences through various technologies, such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and facial recognition. AI can enrich the traveler’s perception, interaction, and engagement, using computer vision and deep learning.
For example, AI can help travelers learn more about the places they visit, by providing interactive and immersive information, such as history, culture, and stories. AI can also help travelers connect more with the people they meet, by providing translation and communication tools, such as speech recognition, text-to-speech, and sentiment analysis. AI can even help travelers capture and share their memories, by providing photo and video editing tools, such as face detection, object recognition, and style transfer.
We asked the CEO of Global Triangles, a company that offers staff augmentation and nearshore services. Garry Lea:
“AI is not just a technology; it is a mindset. It is about understanding the needs and preferences of each traveler, and delivering personalized and seamless experiences that exceed their expectations. I believe that AI is the key to unlocking the full potential of travel and tourism, and making it more accessible, affordable, and enjoyable for everyone.”
A Quote from a Researcher
To get a researcher’s perspective on how AI is making travel and tourism easier and more enjoyable, we included the following quote from Tonino Pencarelli, who is a professor of marketing and tourism at the University of Urbino Carlo Bo, in Italy. He wrote in a paper titled “Artificial Intelligence and Tourism: Challenges and Opportunities for Destination Marketing and Management”:
“The digital revolution is radically changing the world we live in. Sensors in smart homes are able to interconnect devices such as thermostats, washing machines, television sets, laptops, tablets, and other objects to the Internet of Things platforms. These platforms collect, store, and analyze huge amounts of data, which are then used to provide personalized and contextualized services to consumers. This scenario also applies to the travel and tourism sector, where AI can play a key role in enhancing the customer experience and creating value for both travelers and destinations.”
AI is making travel and tourism easier and more enjoyable, by providing personalized recommendations, smart assistance, and enhanced experiences. AI is also creating new opportunities and challenges for the travel and tourism industry, as well as for the society and the environment. AI is not a threat, but a tool, that can help us travel better, smarter, and happier.