BY: Luka Trcek
A recent study by the National Research Group found that 49 percent of people who have used AI for travel planning, such as Booking.com’s long-standing online chatbot service, find the tool very useful. However, the study also showed that a significant number of travelers still harbor apprehensions about using such services.
Security concerns and lack of trust are at the root of many worries. If AI were to help tourists plan vacations, 81% of them would want to double-check all information provided, and an equal number would be reluctant to give AI access to information about their children.
In addition, 77 percent of tourists are unwilling to give an AI service access to important travel documents such as passport or visa data. 51 percent more people are concerned about the threat to privacy posed by AI services.
Although there is some distrust of AI among travelers, the travel industry has already embraced it to the point that some travelers do not even know they are using an AI tool to help them plan their trip.
The largest online travel agencies have already begun using ChatGPT for their online chat services, including Kayak, Expedia and Trip.com. Travelers can engage with artificial intelligence to plan itineraries, predict prices, and more
In reality, both technology experts and travel advisors agree that artificial intelligence is a revolutionary tool for customer service in the industry and that, when used as a tool rather than a replacement for human roles, it can have a significant positive impact.
“Use of artificial intelligence within the travel industry is more prevalent than most advisors and consumers are probably aware,” said Jennifer Walker, owner of Jennifer Walker Travel. “All of us have likely communicated in an online chat to get assistance such as modifying an existing reservation, asking basic questions about a booking engine, or generating a search for flights and accommodations based on parameters we’ve entered on a travel supplier’s website. AI is here, and it’s not going away.”
Some travel advisors are already using the application to handle a number of back-end activities associated with running their own travel business, leaving advisors more time to provide what is known as good customer service.
Among other things, Krystal Aziz, Director of Operations at Modern Travelworks, uses ChatGPT to edit any written materials. She says, “I personally find the implementation of AI in the travel industry to be incredibly exciting! It has revolutionized the way we carry out our daily tasks…”
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