Clearwater, beautiful scenery, exotic food, mesmerizing architecture…Do you want to live your wanderlust fantasies? But cannot go out? This is where technology comes as a savior to the travel industry. How? Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality. Still did not understand. Let us connect the dots in this article.
Artificial Intelligence and Travel Industry
Artificial intelligence is making amends for betterment all the time, thus, aiming to make it more reliable and more attractive as a business solution. Businesses in the travel industry are taking the privilege of AI to perform several administrative and customer service tasks.
• What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
AI refers to computers or machines performing tasks that would typically require human intelligence to perform. The concept is firmly linked to ideas of automation, where processes are carried out with little or no human intervention.
Enabling AI allows businesses to collect and store vast quantities of data ranging from data analysis and problem-solving to speech translation, direct messaging, and improving personalization during the customer journey.
• Role of AI in the Travel industry
Every hotel and resort in the industry aims to deliver excellent customer service to build the “perfect reputation” and AI technology assists with this in a variety of different ways. For instance, artificial intelligence can be used to improve personalization, tailor recommendations, and guarantee fast response times, even in the absence of staff.
Artificial intelligence has advanced to the point where it is often used to assist and communicate with customers, ‘learning’ from each of these interactions and enhancing future interactions as a result. Furthermore, AI can assist with tasks like data analysis, calculations, and problem-solving, all of which are valuable to hotel owners.
• Examples of AI within the Travel Industry
The role of artificial intelligence within the business world has dramatically increased over the past few years, and strong widespread adoption is seen in the travel industry.
Online Customer Service and Chatbots
For the tourism industry, one of the most exciting uses for artificial intelligence is for helping customers online. Although, there has already been widespread adoption of power chatbots on social media platforms, as well as instant messaging apps.
This way, AI can respond to questions and provide valuable information to customers, even when a customer service representative is unavailable. Customers are demanding quicker response time on online platforms, and artificial intelligence allows businesses to meet this demand. Some examples include: Intelligent Travel Chatbot and Sam
Face-to-Face Customer Service
One of the emerging trends is for technology to be used for face-to-face customer service interactions. Crucially, this can cut queues at the information or reception desks and improve overall efficiency. Some hotel chains have also deployed robots to make interactions easier. ‘Connie’ is one such robot, Hilton Hotels’ First Robot Concierge.
Data Processing and Data Analysis
It is important to understand that the applications of AI within the travel and tourism industry are not restricted to customer service only. One of its most popular and effective uses is for gathering and interpreting data to draw assumptions about customers, business practices, and pricing strategies.
The key advantage of artificial intelligence in this particular field is its ability to sort through huge amounts of data quickly and accurately, where the humans would take more time and may contain more errors.
Augmented Reality and travel Industry
Thanks to advances in smartphone technology, augmented reality has experienced a leap forward over recent years. It has emerged as a useful tool for businesses and marketers, allowing them to modify the way customers perceive their surroundings. This has been specifically beneficial for enhancing experiences or physical environments.
• What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality, or AR, is a digital technology, which makes changes to a person’s perception of their physical surroundings when viewed through a particular device as it augments the real-world environment by overlaying digital components.
To date, the most famous example of an augmented reality app is ‘Pokémon Go’. However, the technology extends beyond the gaming world and into the world of marketing. The Marketers would use AR to add graphics or useful information to an environment viewed through a compatible device like a smartphone, tablet, or similar device. AR also works closely with other mobile technologies, including cameras and GPS tracking.
• Role of AR in the Travel Industry
Augmented reality has become increasingly popular within the travel industry. This is because it enables hotels and other businesses to enhance the physical environments and encouraging customers to visit, including local sights and hotel rooms.
Unlike other purchases, travel tends to be heavily googled and researched, as customers want lots of information before they arrive. AR can serve to ensure much of this information is available to them 24/7. One of the keys to AR adoption has been the general change in consumer lifestyles over the past decade.
• Examples of Augmented Reality in the Travel Industry
The use of augmented reality technology within the travel industry is a relatively recent development and, as a result, new uses are emerging all the time.
Interactive Hotel Elements
To date, the most common use of AR has been to introduce more interactive elements into hotels, improving the overall experience. This gives hotels, resorts, and other similar businesses the power to provide customers with more information on demand. The example includes the Augmented Reality Florence Travel Guide – Italy
Augmented Tourist Destinations
Away from hotel environments, some companies within the travel industry are developing AR apps, which allow tourists to enhance physical locations and tourist attractions. This could also allow a user to point their smartphone at a building or landmark and learn more about it simultaneously. This can greatly expand the entire travel experience and allow tourists to take in information on the go.
Augmented Reality Gamification
Augmented reality has a strong link to the world of gaming and the travel industry is beginning to take advantage of this. With the help of an augmented reality app, a hotel or hospitality business can improve the customer experience by introducing an element of fun to their physical environment.
Gaming apps using AR have been used to introduce Disney show-style and treasure hunt-style elements to hotel buildings for children. For adults, apps allow users to redecorate rooms and place virtual celebrities in the hotel.
Virtual Reality and travel Industry
Virtual reality technology has taken the world by storm in recent times, with VR headsets becoming a mainstream consumer product. Virtual Reality is seen as a potential marketing tool knowing its high reach in the travel industry.
• What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality technology essentially involves the use of a VR headset, which helps to immerse a user in a digital environment. By the use of images, sounds, and other physical sensations, the user is essentially placed in a virtual world, which allows them to virtually move around and, in some cases, interact in other ways.
The uses of VR include gaming, watching interactive videos, viewing 360-degree images, and more. While many virtual reality applications center around entertainment, the technology is also being utilized by marketers in several interesting ways. Additionally, many businesses are experimenting with VR-based user interfaces, replacing the traditional computer or mobile interfaces.
• Role of Virtual Reality in the travel industry
Typically, the customers are looking to purchase experiences, rather than products, and virtual reality offers an effective way for marketers to give them a glance at what they can expect.
Travel customers generally require lots of information before finally booking a hotel room. This may require them to read descriptions, view images, look at videos, read customer reviews or even seek opinions on social media. Through intelligent use of virtual reality, this process can be shortened significantly.
Many hotels and travel companies are now providing virtual reality elements on their websites or apps, allowing users to experience a digital version of the hotel room. This addition enables those in the travel industry to live up to the ‘try before you buy option.
• Virtual Reality applications in the Travel industry
The use of virtual reality technology within the travel industry is relatively less, but a large number of companies are experimenting with VR headsets and finding good uses for them.
Virtual Tours of Hotels
The best example of virtual reality in action within the travel industry is the use of technology for providing virtual tours of hotels and rooms. The key benefit of this is, it allows potential customers to experience what the hotel looks like before arrival.
Generally, the virtual experience consists of a simple 360-degree image, which is very compatible with social media platforms and more VR technology, like Google Cardboard.
Virtual Travel Experiences
Virtual reality is offering hotels, travel agents, and other businesses within the tourism industry the opportunity to provide prospective customers with a virtual travel experience. This means that users will be able to experience some of the main attractions that are likely to draw them to a location. The main benefit of this is the ability to sell travel products and requirements based on the experiences they can enable.
The use of technology has given a boost to the travel industry and has more opportunities to explore. The use of AR, VR and AI has opened doors to let customers get real-time experience. So, you can visit the place even if you cannot go there physically. From ‘Cannot travel’ to ‘virtual travel’, technology has helped to accomplish a lot.