How Travel Brands Are Using AI To Help People Plan Their Own Trips

How Travel Brands Are Using AI To Help People Plan Their Own Trips
Hotels, Hospitality & Travel

Travel companies are leveraging tools such as AI and chatbots to give travelers greater control over their itineraries

PSFK Labs
  • 19 march 2018

The modern traveler is changing, and brands in the industry are faced with a need to adapt to the preferences of this new consumer. A major factor is that mobile devices and digital platforms have made anywhere access to information a must-have for consumers. This is especially true of the travel industry, where unfamiliar locales and journey mishaps can cause unforeseen headaches.

To better meet the needs of their customers beyond the booking process, travel companies are extending the reach of their services to offer in-the-moment access to tailored advice, assistance and recommendations at every stage. By leveraging AI-powered chatbots and IoT-enabled infrastructure, brands are empowering travelers to get the most out of their experience.

The need for this kind of personalization is being felt across many industries, however it is particularly acute in the travel landscape. Each decision made in the planning and booking process generally carries a very high value, both in terms of money and time investment required. Jenni Benzaquen, VP of Luxury Brands Europe at Marriott International commented on this shift in consumer desire:

“Personalization is what they want. Luxury used to be one thing to one person but it’s no longer about white gloves and white tablecloths. There’s no more formality in luxury, and hotels need to understand our guests.”

For our Travel Debrief, PSFK researchers examined how the push for personalization if changing the industry, as part of a larger trend we have identified as ambient control. It is key for travel brands not only to understand what this means for the industry, but also how it can be integrated into products and services in a way that is both natural and personal. Here are a few of our favorite examples we found of brands giving consumers greater control over their travel experience:

In the world of air travel, KLM launched an interactive voice-driven pack assistant on Google Home that can guide travelers on how to pack their bags. With the help of its recently launched service bot called BB, the pack assistant offers personalized advice to travelers depending on their KLM destination, the duration of their trip and the predicted weather conditions. KLM also recently created a smart audio luggage tag that functions as a tour guide to help guide visitors around its hometown of Amsterdam. The tag gives travelers tips based on their location.

Carnival Cruise Line’s Regal Princess has introduced a similar tool, with an ambitious new customization platform in which passengers have the option to carry a quarter-sized device, called the Ocean Medallion, that guides them around the ship and toward activities aligned with their preferences. Thanks to the ship’s sensors, anything a passenger wants can be delivered hassle-free and on-demand.

Finally, high-end rental company Onefinestay is offering a loyalty program called Higher Living that provides travelers with a free, 24-hour concierge service for an entire year after a vacation. The on-call concierge assists guests in procuring hard-to-get theater tickets, private chefs, dog-sledding excursions and much more.

According to our travel survey, conducted alongside the Travel Debrief, 87% of experts say that having control over their own travel experiences through real-time assistance will be important to travelers in the next two to three years. We’ve seen similar technologies take over the home ecosystem; now airlines, hotels and other travel companies are learning the power of personalization, and how to give travelers greater control over tailoring their own experience.


Lead Image: Princess Cruises

The modern traveler is changing, and brands in the industry are faced with a need to adapt to the preferences of this new consumer. A major factor is that mobile devices and digital platforms have made anywhere access to information a must-have for consumers. This is especially true of the travel industry, where unfamiliar locales and journey mishaps can cause unforeseen headaches.

+booking
+chatbots
+Europe
+Google
+home
+hospitality
+internet of things
+IoT
+klm
+loyalty
+loyalty & membership
+Luxury
+mobile
+Personalized Loyalty
+planning
+psfk labs
+technology
+travel
+Travel Debrief 2018

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