May 8, 2018, by Gilad Berenstein, CEO of Utrip
One of the key buzzwords that has dominated the travel industry recently is artificial intelligence, especially its practical applications, such as machine learning. These technologies are well on their way to revolutionizing travel - both for consumers and businesses.
There is incredible value in leveraging artificial intelligence and its application within the travel industry, but many brands have been reluctant to fully embrace its potential.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning, however, are completely revolutionizing the travel industry, and investing in these capabilities early on will drive long-term success for businesses.
Here are just a few ways in which artificial intelligence and machine learning are revolutionizing travel:
1) Increased level of personalized customer interactions
Customer interactions are the lifeblood of any travel business, but how do you make these interactions more meaningful? The increasing demand for personalization has spread resources thin, and it can be an incredible amount of labor to ensure that each customer truly feels like they are given the individual attention they need. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can bridge that gap and ensure that your brand is consistently present throughout the customer journey.
For example, travel behemoths like TripAdvisor continue to rely more and more on artificial intelligence to grow their communities and meet traveler demands. Their artificial intelligence capabilities help them manage data while continuing to increase personalization - while still helping them maintain a foothold throughout the travel lifecycle. Rather than appearing at intermittent points throughout the lifecycle, TripAdvisor has leveraged artificial intelligence to sustain its position as a travel brand, while continuing to scale and grow as needed.
2) Ease the customer travel planning process
The largest pain point customers have is the research aspect of traveling. The planning process, from choosing destinations, to researching hotels and on-site attractions can drain travelers. This is largely where the drop-off begins with respect to conversion rates, so it essential to get traveler attention early and provide real value throughout the process to ease their planning.
Artificial intelligence and its applications such as machine learning give brands the capabilities to accomplish this. Recent news demonstrates that companies that have introduced machine learning are seeing incredible results at a rapid pace. It becomes "quicker and easier" to provide products and services based on demand while allowing companies to "personalize at scale" and keep customer data secure throughout the process.
3) Help companies leverage more data to increase conversion rates and ancillary sales
Driving conversion rates and ancillary sales is another major goal for travel companies, but it becomes difficult to actually achieve this growth on a sustainable level. Rather than being victims of seasonal demand, artificial intelligence and machine learning are incredibly valuable resources to help ensure the longevity of these revenue streams.
For example, travel agency eDreams ODIGEO has seen a major boost since they have introduced machine learning technology for their business. Using algorithms to "aggregate and anonymize" different customer behavior touchpoints, their system can make sophisticated recommendations based on customer history.
The company reports that "it has seen flight bookings increase up to 50% ‘in some scenarios’ and a 10% increase in the rate of customers adding ancillary products such as baggage, seats or insurance." That kind of massive demand might be hard to replicate and sustain long-term manually, but it becomes far more attainable with artificial intelligence.
Utrip is an A.I. recommendation engine built specifically for the travel industry. Leveraging machine learning and advanced traveler preference data, we’re enabling travel companies to increase conversion rates, ancillary revenue, customer loyalty and engagement. To learn more, contact us today.