Should the travel industry invest more in AI?


The travel sector is being urged to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the booking process, as more than a quarter of UK holidaymakers find it too difficult to pick the perfect destination.

Mobile technology group, Apadmi, found that 27% of UK travellers think there’s too much choice when deciding where to go.

Not knowing what to expect from their trip or whether it will suit their tastes, they struggle to find the ideal destination.

The company surveyed 1,000 people who’ve taken a holiday in the last 12 months; its findings revealed that 56% of travellers also struggle to compare prices for different holiday packages, and figure out exactly what they get for the price.

For 28% of Brits booking their holidays, travel brochures and websites don’t make the choice any easier.

Consumers claim they don’t go into enough detail about the hotels and destinations listed, while 29% find the images of resorts and locations to be misleading.

A fifth (21%) of consumers are now calling on travel agents to invest in AI innovations to help simplify booking options and provide tailored suggestions.

Digital chat bots are already widely used in the industry; they can ask a series of qualifying questions and use existing customer data, such as their browsing options and any details captured during face-to-face consultations, to suggest highly-personalised choices.

Nick Black, CEO of Apadmi, said: “It can be tricky to search for a holiday unless you have a specific destination in mind – you might know you want a relaxing break or a city getaway, but how do you know which resorts offer the right facilities and accommodation that will suit you?

“Often this requires a lot of research by the customer, comparing different options, discounts and websites. This is a lengthy and overwhelming process, and as our research suggests, travel agents can, and should, help solve this conundrum.

“Our report found that holidaymakers are increasingly looking for travel providers who give them a more personalised service to help narrow down their options. AI is the most effective way to do this.

“Embracing this technology would remove many of the irrelevant travel suggestions many customers are currently presented with in the mass-market travel sector. It would also enhance customer service in-store, as travel agents can use data collected through AI to pick up where the customer left their plans online, providing that seamless, multi-channel experience that’s currently in such high demand from consumers.”


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