AI-Powered Chatbots and Searches: Revolutionizing the Travel Industry

AI-Powered Chatbots and Searches

AI-Powered Chatbots and Searches: In the latest sign of artificial intelligence (AI) driving the digital transformation of travel, Kayak’s new chatbot lets users ask for travel advice and find flights using screenshots.

Last week, the travel booking company launched two new features to simplify the deal search.  Kayak’s latest tool, PriceCheck, allows users to upload screenshots of flight itineraries to search hundreds of sites for the best deals.

Ask Kayak, the company’s chat function on the search results page, allows users to input specific hotel, car, or flight preferences, including price limits.

There is a growing trend in the travel industry to integrate artificial intelligence.

AI-Powered Chatbots and Searches: Travel Made Easier With Data

The travel industry isn’t the only one embracing artificial intelligence.

Based on the reviews of over a billion users, Tripadvisor introduced a feature last year that uses artificial intelligence to create personalized travel itineraries. Daily plans are generated based on a user’s destination, dates, companions, and interests, with an emphasis on dining, activities and attractions.

“AI cannot replace the knowledge and experience of a travel agent or an accommodation provider,” Karen Yeates, the executive vice president of information technologies at Signature Travel, a cooperative of travel agencies, told PYMNTS in an interview. “However, AI technologies can improve the flow of business by enabling travel experts to make supremely data-driven decisions and offer better services.”

Using artificial intelligence, Yeates says agencies collect a lot of data about traveler preferences and behavior. A travel agent can use this information to make better suggestions to their clients based on this information. AI can sort through these trends to provide in-depth insights into the travel outlook for upcoming seasons.

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What does the future of travel hold for AI?

In addition to helping travelers book hotels and offering support, artificial intelligence is improving chatbots, which used to be a source of frustration for travelers.

Further, Yeates said, that these more intelligent chatbots give human agents more time to offer detailed answers and reassurance to each traveler.

To improve customer service, Qatar Airways is updating its digital assistant, Sama, with generative AI. As a result of this partnership with UneeQ, Sama will appear more lifelike, with simulated breathing and facial expressions, diverging from her original animated design. As part of the airline’s plans, Sama will also be able to book flights and conduct transactions. This move indicates a shift in the airline’s strategy towards more sophisticated passenger engagement.

As Maria Sukhareva, an AI expert at Siemens, told PYMNTS in an interview, travelers can also use AI tools to find out about a country, plan their trip, translate languages, and write reviews in locals. Travelers should be careful not to completely trust AI for important information, such as finding out whether it is safe to travel or how to get from one place to another, since it might not always give the right answers.

“I would also keep in mind that the model has some biases and would be careful about asking it which country I should visit,” Sukhareva said. “Due to internal biases that it learned from the data, it might, for example, discourage me from visiting certain countries.”

In a recent interview with PYMNTS, Ziv Gafni, the president and general manager of Fetcherr, a startup for creating genAI pricing, inventory and publishing engines for airlines, revealed that AI can be used by leaders in the travel industry to predict trends, understand what customers and competitors might do next, and be prepared for market changes.

“AI can assist in identifying new opportunities and suggest unexplored avenues to develop unique solutions,” Gafni said.

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