Technology has gradually made way for itself in the tourism industry and reduced the processes that are carried out manually. As the tourism industry has always been an early technology adopter, it has welcomed AI with open arms (World AI Show, 2019). Initially, it was used to simplify the marketing processes, but in the present times, AI technology is leaving a mark on every tourism aspect such as welcoming the guests, serving them and listening to their needs (World AI Show, 2019). AI is being used in the tourism industry for various purposes such as improving the level of personalization, tailoring the recommendations of the customers and guaranteeing fast response times even when the staff members are not present. The presence of artificial intelligence has become so crucial in the industrial setting that it is being used to assist and communicate with the customers and thus strengthen the quality of engagement (revfine.com, 2019).
In the 21st century, the tourism industry has seen incredible growth and prosperity at a global level. The international tourist arrivals have increased from 528 million in the year 2005 to 1.19 billion in the year 2015 (www.statista.com, 2019). Today several people are willing to spend money on tourism and traveling. This spending has boosted the demand and overall performance of the industry. Thanks to the growth of the travel and tourism industry, it is regarded to be one of the world’s largest sectors that have the power to shape the economic health of a nation.
Technology has entered the industrial setting and boosted its performance and quality of service delivery (www.statista.com, 2019). AI has invaded the tourism and hospitality setting, and it is being used to gain a competitive advantage in the dynamic market. The graph presented below shows that various kinds of AI strategies are being used in different industries including the tourism and hospitality industry.
“Thanks to AI, travellers no longer need to visit travel agencies to book flights or search for accommodation. AI assistants and Intelligent chatbots have now taken the place of travel agents allowing travellers to book flights and accommodations and hire vehicles online”, says Or Izchak.
Hotelmize says that AI has made advances in many industries since it was invented. The ever-changing travel industry is also taking advantage of AI to revolutionize the way it operates. As a result, nowadays, travel companies highly leverage AI-powered tools and solutions for various processes from travel planning to landing in the destination.
Currently, AI has been incorporated into many areas of the travel and tourism industry, making lives easier for travelers around the globe. For instance, there are some widely used forms of AI in airports these days, such as facial recognition systems and airport security scanning devices.
There are different types of AI technology that strengthen their presence in the tourism industry and one of those are robots. These technology-driven assistants are using the Internet of Things (IoT) technology to do simple activities such as turning on the bedroom lights, turning off the television, handling systems to ensure the luggage is checked in automatically and receiving the guests in a hotel.
Robot receptionists have become a trending thing in the tourism industry, which has a direct implication on the interaction and experience of the customers and guests. They are even taking care of the room service aspects so that the guests will not face any kind of issue while checking in to a new hotel room. In some of the reputed hotels of Marriott such as St. Regis, Westin and Aloft, the Alexa robot has been getting a lot of attention.
Similarly, in airports, robots have started making their presence, and they are being used as guides and assistants. Some of the main advantages of robots in the tourism industry include enhanced customer experience, simplification of the work process, the ability of human factors to focus on other activities and improved efficiency of the tourism business.
In conclusion, according to (emerald.com), the travel and tourism industry has seen a surge of AI applications on every spectrum. Be it by air or sea, there are potential ways passengers and travel companies can utilize AI to make the journey an efficient and smooth one while maintaining customer satisfaction at a higher level.