AI in Travel and Hospitality: Enhancing Experiences and Optimizing Operations

Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the travel and hotel business by improving consumer experiences and optimizing operations, from personalized itineraries developed based on user preferences to voice-assisted booking in several languages. The days of complex and time-consuming travel bookings are over, as online travel aggregators (OTAs) now use AI to provide services such as automatic trip planning and voice help, making travel more accessible and pleasurable for everyone.

For example, in July 2023, OTA Ixigo launched "Plan by Ixigo," a trip planner based on OpenAI. This cutting-edge technology analyzes and comprehends users' preferences in order to deliver customised recommendations, suggestions, and itineraries. Users can select from a variety of trip themes or design their trip itinerary depending on their tastes, and the system will automatically generate detailed itineraries as well as weather and air quality updates for the specified destination and theme..

"Plan by Ixigo" has already created over 30,000 new itineraries since its inception, making travel more accessible and improving the accuracy and dependability of recommendations. Ixigo intends to include collaborative tools in the near future, allowing users to communicate with friends and family for an engaging trip-planning experience.


Similarly, MakeMyTrip collaborated with Microsoft to enable voice-assisted bookings in different Indian languages. This integration, which is presently accessible in English and

Hindi, provides tailored travel recommendations based on user choices and assists in curating holiday packages based on parameters such as occasion, budget, entertainment preferences, and travel dates. By removing language barriers and reducing complex app environments, this feature aims to make online travel affordable to all different groups of people across the country.

Another online travel agency, EaseMyTrip, has used artificial intelligence chatbots and help to tailor travel experiences and increase client engagement. The platform continually enhances its services and provides better deals to consumers by analyzing consumer behavior and feedback. AI elements have resulted in a 14% increase in client engagement, retention, and overall efficacy.

AI is currently making its way to airports as well as to travel bookings. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) in Mumbai and other Adani-operated airports seek to implement various AI solutions. This technology will include passenger capacity and footfall estimation, runway foreign object identification, and AI-enabled video analytics to identify people who require more help. These developments are designed to improve the consumer experience and revolutionize airport operations.

In the hospitality industry, AI is helping to personalize guest encounters. Hotels are using AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants to respond to passenger inquiries about the availability of rooms, services, and local suggestions in real time. For example, Hilton India is experimenting with new options to tailor guest bookings and stays, such as pre-booked meals and parking.

The AI-enabled Conrad Pune, Hilton's flagship hotel, has launched a service called Wedding Studio that lets couples picture their nuptials and select from a wide variety of arrangements, themes, and decor. This novel 360-degree virtual experience enhances the overall guest experience by offering a unique method to plan and modify weddings.

AI projects have also been implemented by Marriott hotels, such as The Westin Resort and Spa Himalayas. Guests may access their rooms immediately with the mobile key function and communicate with the hotel staff via chat from any location, making their stay easy and simple.

Throughout its whole value chain, SaffronStays, an Indian vacation rental company, has incorporated AI. Large language models (LLMs) support every step of the guest journey, from pre-booking and booking to post-checkout, loyalty, and retargeting. Large data sets are used by LLMs to comprehend, synthesize, produce, and forecast new content. AI also facilitates the creation of advertisements and optimizes marketing initiatives, doing away with the requirement for complex creative teams.

While OTAs are embracing AI at a quick pace, hotels are integrating AI at a slower pace. For online travel agencies (OTAs), cart abandonment rates pose a serious problem. However, generative AI can help by adapting to the requirements and preferences of users, which will ultimately shorten the booking window. On the other hand, hotels find it difficult to invest in technology because of budgetary constraints. However, hotels are urged to adopt cutting-edge technology that is starting to become commonplace with the rise of generative AI.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is essential for maintaining operational efficiency and enhancing the visitor experience in the hotel sector, where wages and related expenditures are on the rise. Although there may be worries that automation would lead to job displacement, experts think that AI could redefine employment categories and open up new chances in developing

Sources: Forbes India

(https://www.forbesindia.com/article/take-one-big-story-of-the-day/how-ai-in-travel-and-hospitality-is-enhancing-experiences-and-optimising-operations/87027/1)

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