Since I have a passion for technology and traveling both, I thought why not share my insights on what happens when you combine both.
Artificial Intelligence, as you might already know, is an emerging technology. But what you might not know is that AI has proven to be a game-changer technology for the travel industry.
For instance, AI has helped lots of companies offer smart travel arrangements to their customers while streamlining their business processes along the way.
Just think about your last trip. Did you collect your tickets from the counter?
I highly doubt it. Instead, you might have scanned your ticket from your smartphone.
And that’s just one way AI has influenced the travel industry.
In this article, I have shared 5 different ways of how AI will influence the travel industry in 2020 and beyond that.
If you’re in the travel industry and looking for new ideas to take your travel business to the next level, you will most certainly find these ideas helpful.
So with that being said, let’s dive right in!
1 – Intelligent Recommendations
Today, almost all online platforms and services have incorporated intelligent recommendations feature.
Take Netflix or Amazon Prime for example. Both online streaming service providers offer suggestions based on what you watched and searched recently on their respective platforms.
Just like Netflix and Amazon Prime, online travel platforms like Booking.com and Expedia have also incorporated a similar intelligent recommendations feature where they offer travel-related suggestions based on recent searches.
Expedia, for instance, offers multiple accommodation options when you’ve booked or looking for flights to a particular city.
Similar to Expedia, you can also build and incorporate a powerful recommendations feature in your travel portal to optimize conversion rates and generate more revenue for your business.
2 – Intelligent Assistants
AI-powered chatbots have proven to be very helpful in the travel industry lately.
Today, many global travel platforms and brands have built their own custom, AI-powered chatbots to solve their customers’ queries and boost sales.
Skyscanner, for example, is a popular AI-powered chatbot that is helping consumers find better flights in Facebook Messenger since its inception.
While Skyscanner is just one example, there are many travel platforms that have built their own AI-powered chatbots like Skyscanner to cut through the noise and connect with their target customers.
For example, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines uses an AI-powered chatbot to respond to customers’ queries on Facebook and Twitter. In fact, they have trained their chatbot to answer over 60,000 questions and queries of users.
3 – Sentimental Analysis
Today, 90% of travelers share their experience, opinions, and photos on social networking platforms.
TripAdvisor, for example, receives 280 travel reviews every minute. And today, they have a vast pool of 435 million reviews from their 390 unique users.
This data can be quite useful for travel companies to improve their services. In fact, many travel companies have already started experimenting with Google Cloud Natural Language API to monitor their brand image in general and quickly take action on negative reviews and feedbacks.
Artificial Intelligence technology is capable of helping travel companies perform a statistical analysis of users’ online opinions and classify positive and negative reviews.
4 – Fraud Detection
According to a recent report, the travel industry and specifically Airline companies suffer the most from fraud and online scams every year.
This is why many travel companies have started implementing AI and machine learning technologies to help prevent illegal transactions.
Wanderio, for example, is a popular online travel booking company in Italy that has partnered with Pi School to integrate its fraud detection AI technology into Wanderio’s online portal.
Hotel Tonight, another popular hotel booking app from the US, has also created its own customized machine learning model to predict and detect frauds.
While such fraud detection AI technology is not widespread within the travel industry yet, but that number is expected to increase considerably in the year 2020.
5 – Enhanced Operational Efficiency
Artificial Intelligence technology also holds the capability to enhance the operational efficiency of travel companies.
For instance, Mezi’s AI-powered dashboard uses automation to help clients like Bluefish, American Express, and Casto Travel to respond quickly to their customers’ queries and requests.
Mezi’s AI technology basically allows travel agents to check users’ queries and use chatbots to update automatically in real-time.
And according to its report, it helps Mezi’s clients to increase productivity and output by five times.
In the coming years, more and more travel companies are expected to implement such AI-powered dashboards to improve their productivity and overall operational efficiency.
In today’s technology era, businesses need to continually evolve in line with the latest technologies. And from in-depth data insights to AI-powered automation, today Artificial Intelligence offers many opportunities to businesses in the travel industry
In fact, mobile app development companies also agree to the fact that in the coming years, artificial intelligence will definitely help travel companies to drive more operational efficiency and improve customer experience.
The sales department happens to be one of the most crucial industry verticals throughout the history of economic activities. It has also surfaced as the primary business function for many establishments that engage in the only distribution of products and services exclusively.
As a result, the entire business management philosophy gets altered with more and more attention being put into the mobility of human resources. A significant portion of its employee strength is comprised of sales associates, and they are expected to travel in the market for the achievement of targets.
Since the territory may or may not be fixed, their performance can not be evaluated on the basis of conventional models of assessment. Therefore, Performance Management Systems with mobile integration will prove to be disruptive in this domain, and we will have a look at the pros of using one.
Studies pointing towards the need for modernization of performance evaluation:
In of the recent studies, it was found that having a concrete territory design will increase the sales output by a considerable 30%. while another study found that talent retention in sales cadre needs proper incentive structures. Both of these can only be achieved if the sales staff is monitored even in the market.
Currently, almost everybody uses smartphones which can be used as a tool to capture work details and manage the employees without any inconvenience or added cost.
If the work is recorded on a real-time basis and processed by computerized systems, a realistic view of the ground situation is available to the company while on the other end, the salesmen find documentation extremely difficult and unnecessary.
This gap is bridged by mobile-based Performance Management Systems with significantly low cost of operation and high customization capabilities. Let us view some of the great advantages of the same.
Every sales firm aspires to manage its employees continuously and monitor the activity of each staff member. Their locational data is tracked by using the geo-tracking feature of the mobile app. This is also accompanied by parallel work reviews where the employee is asked to give reports in the form of simple reviews.
They have to rate the call upon various parameters and note the highlights along with the time duration, prospectus revenue, and in-bound payment details. This allows a better flow of information with the help of the mobile app, which eliminates the requirement of cross-checking and also enables on-field support for document transfer.
The companies engaged in the product/service distribution have high attrition rates, and high employee turnover has a significant impact on the business. The client database is extremely important, and accessing it is vital for the new employees.
Having knowledge of the past dealings in terms of business revenue, contact person, client’s spending patterns, a convenient time for the meeting, and seasonal fluctuations. With the help of real-time service, reporting will enable smooth data acquisition and compiling it on a central database will improve the future servicing along with reducing the effect of employee turnover.
Many of the companies have mapped and unmapped territories to be distributed amongst the sales force. This entire network is to be assessed for complete control over efficient. If a sales associate visits a client previously visited by another executive, then it may hamper the closing of calls and damages the reputation of the company.
The network analysis also allows in the proper generation of records for performance reviews. The company can utilize this data for promoting the employees based upon their rapport with the clientele and within the organization. Mapping of territories and client assignment reduces the clashes between the staff while boosting accountability.
Where the mobile app-based Performance Management Systems are considered, the significant benefit for the employees is the access to extensive reports which provide personalized data. The employee’s working patterns, hours, routing, scheduling, closing ratio, weaknesses, competencies are calculated on the basis of the data input from their smartphones.
As there is no need for analysis by a human supervisor, the employee can use this functionality for self-assessment and professional development also. However, the information can also provide comprehensive inputs for target projections and pipeline revenue and MTD-YTD figures.
If your staff does not work from a single location, neither should your employee evaluation method. The mobile-based solutions have emerged as game-changers in the performance management software industry when a sales channel is concerned. The affordable internet rates and access smartphones will play a pivotal role in the success of their implementation in the business dominion.
Most of the MNCs and corporates have started using them and its high time for small and medium scale firms to implement these solutions if they want to keep their organization relevant to the market. However, these tools are for strategic management and not to be considered as mere providers of appraisal data. Every company engaged in distribution will surely witness higher revenue with optimized overheads, making it extremely beneficial to business objectives.
Shy Lee is an Associate Digital Marketing Manager at factoHR, an India based HR, and payroll software solution providers. She is a creative marketing strategist with over 8 years of experience developing digital marketing strategies and guiding business development.