Leveraging AI in Travel.


Companies that leverage AI services are able to operate around the clock whether it's online with chatbots or on the ground with virtual assistants and voice-technology. 

We talk a lot in digital about enhancing the customer experience, and when we look at AI, it is there to pave the way for brands looking to take the next step in this journey. As mentioned above, chatbots are being used more and more, with brands using them as a means of being operational 24/7, and the ability to serve content to the user without them needing to hunt around for it. i.e. your FAQs, where your hotels are, and which one has a spa. 

Chatbots are there to simplify and enhance the user's experience and to help brands increase conversions. Research conducted by Booking.com tells us that 29% of travellers are comfortable letting a computer plan their trip and 50% say it doesn't matter who plans it for them as long as their questions get answered! With chatbots, travel brands benefit from an increase in conversions as well as operational performance as AI doesn't need regular breaks or monthly salaries. 

There's a big opportunity for travel companies to take AI to the next level by introducing voice-activated assistants. Already, we're seeing 'smart hotel rooms' where guests can control the temperature and lights with voice. Virtual assistants allow guests to ask questions, make reservations and get real-time recommendations based on their customer profile. 

AI can also be used to gather data and analysis; helping brands draw conclusions about their customers and enabling them to set rules around legacy so that they can offer a more individual experience with personalised offers to reward loyalty and solidify advocacy. 

AI sorts data much faster and more efficiently than humans; further enhancing the operational benefits for brands that introduce AI. It's important to note, that AI is there to improve experiences by reducing time wasted by staff answering potentially repetitive questions and managing queues. It's not about replacing human interaction altogether as there are still many consumers who prefer to interact with other humans. 

One of the most common forms of AI we see in digital is the use of recommendation engines. Used by the likes of Amazon and Netflix, the AI can offer automated recommendations based on the customer's data and gives brands an acceleration in sales while gratifying the user and intensifying their need to return. 

At Sagittarius, we've been working with Microsoft and their Azure cognitive services suite of products to give our travel clients access to a host of opportunities from chatbots to voice assistants and AI dashboards. 

It's no secret that AI is disrupting the travel industry, and in many ways, the impact is greater than that seen in other industries. Travel has always been at the forefront of the digital revolution, and businesses leveraging AI are already reaping the rewards. Consumer's need for instant gratification and personalised experiences is crippling marketing teams. But, with AI brands can respond in real-time and give their consumers the ability to plan everything they need for the perfect holiday, without the middleman. 

If you'd like to find out how Sagittarius could support your journey into AI, get in touch today and we'll arrange for one of our consultants to give you a free, no-obligation, call to discuss your strategy. 

Paul Stephen
Paul Stephen
Co-Founder & Executive Director
With over 25 years in marketing, Paul is one of the UK's leading experts on digital marketing. He oversees the agency and often lectures and consults within the industry on digital and marketing related subjects and has a particular interest and skills in the travel and tourism sectors.

Paul operates nationally and internationally, helping brands to think outside the traditional horizontal and vertical channels and transform their business with creative multi-channel marketing and digital re-invention.
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