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Chatbot, virtual assistance, artificial intelligence is everywhere in the customer journey of the tourism sector. What are its advantages and limitations?

Towards artificial tourism, what impact will artificial intelligence have on the tourism sector?



4 min

From automated chatbots with pre-recorded answers to artificial intelligences that interact live with you, the digitalization of customer relations is a major turning point in the tourism sector. And this turning point has been strongly accentuated in recent months with not the appearance, but rather the democratization of artificial intelligence. It took ChatGPT 2 months to reach 100 million users when it took Instagram 2 years to reach the same number. But ChatGPT is far from being isolated and is simply a 2.0 head of artificial intelligence. It is the tree that hides the digital forest.

The impact of ChatGPT on the tourism industry

We've been hearing about it daily for a few months now, artificial intelligence is everywhere, well supported by the emergence of OpenAI. And if some sectors do not escape this tidal wave, the tourism and travel sectors are of course among them. What are its advantages and limitations as applied to tourism? To find out the benefits and limitations of ChatGPT in the tourism industry, the easiest way is to ask him or her. And the least we can say is that he (or she) has a sense of honesty. 24/7 customer service, multilingualism, personalization of travel proposals, management of a large volume of requests and therefore improvement of the customer experience, cost reduction and a simple implementation on sites and applications. So much for the positive points, which are certainly not negligible, but ChatGPT still specifies that it is not a substitute for human intervention and that it is "therefore preferable to use it as a complement to a human customer service team." But while it is beneficial in many areas, it also has many limitations and readily acknowledges them. Limited understanding, lack of empathy, lack of creativity and answers that can be too generic, the need for updates as well as privacy, legal and ethical issues. Today, ChatGPT is, for example, unable to provide information such as current weather or real-time train traffic, even on the paid GPT-4 version. He says he recommends that users consult a weather forecasting site in this case.

How can artificial intelligence be integrated into the tourism sectors?

Practical cases of AI use by tourism players: Expedia, Kayak

Many players in the tourism industry have embraced AI and have integrated a system adapted to their needs. Expedia and Kayak have implemented a chatbot generated by OpenAI. In these cases, plugins allow ChatGPT to be associated directly with the chatbot while allowing it to continue to feed on the results it finds on the Internet. ChatGPT can therefore provide the most relevant answers possible to customers and help them plan their trips. Expedia also lists the intended uses of AI. The accompaniment during and after booking or the proposal of a personalized service in order to have relevant information for customers are all possible fields of action allowed by AI.

Artificial intelligence tools developed for tourism

Because the innovation sector is not limited to OpenAI, many other AI tools useful to the tourism sector have been developed in recent years. If they are not open to the general public from a usage point of view as ChatGPT can be, they will nevertheless be a tool that will be directly useful to us, without us even being aware of it. As it is already the case... Let's take the example of FairGuest, which we saw demonstrated live at the last "CML on the beach" conference. It's a tool for managing responses to customer reviews that generates a relevant response and does 90% of the work on redundant tasks. An invisible AI for the final customer but a significant tool for the company that implements it because it saves time for its employees. Another example is Qemotion. An emotional artificial intelligence. It allows to analyze the answers and the customers' opinions. So far, a tool like any other, with the difference that Qemotion performs both a semantic and emotional analysis that allows to detect irritants and therefore to measure satisfaction and to anticipate weak signals. A tool that builds loyalty by improving the customer experience and satisfaction, and everyone is happy! Artificial intelligence is now a major issue in the world of tourism because it allows for more customer engagement thanks to its recommendations and at a lower cost. Handling redundant tasks with relevance and without getting tired is the main advantage that AIs allow today compared to employees. This is a major advantage in order to make substantial savings, both in money and time, and to prioritize tasks and save bandwidth for its internal teams.

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