How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the Travel Industry
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and neural networks are words that are often seen in today’s business technology headlines. Are robots taking over the world? Or are they just here to help you find the best hotel for your next holiday?
Artificial intelligence may seem like the bane of some futuristic, dystopian society but you’ve probably already come into contact with it in something as simple as booking a hotel or flight.
If you have ever binged watched a series or two on Netflix, you’ve seen the ‘what to watch next’ recommendations pop up on the screen. This is similar to what you can expect when searching for holiday destinations on an OTA. You will see recommendations based on your previous searches and bookings. This is also the case if you book a flight to LA, for example. Typically, you will be taken to a page offering hotel and car rental options in the Los Angeles area after booking. OTA’s can even recommend alternative travel dates, destinations and local sightseeing options based on your search queries.
These data-driven recommendation tools are widely adopted by OTAs. It’s common for users to receive recommendations based on their previous searches or even what others have booked. Google Flights, for example, gives you ‘Date Tips’ that suggest cheaper travel times and cheaper airports based on your destination. Kayak, among many others, provides a map view of an area that displays prices of hotels as well as ‘popular area’ views. This gives you a heat map of your destination city showing eating, sightseeing, shopping, and nightlife.