EMBRACING THE NEW INTELLIGENCE – THE GROWTH OF AI IN THE TRAVEL AND TOURISM INDUSTRY

It is the era of digital transformation, where Artificial Intelligence or AI is reaching new dimensions. Hailed as the ‘new electricity, AI, over the last few years has been making rounds in the tourism sector as, a sector which has always celebrated the milestones in technology. Traditional methods of quantitative analysis are being fast replaced by various types of AI such as genetic algorithms, rough sets, grey theory among others. Ranging from smarter virtual assistants and real time chat bots to personalized concierge services, travel websites/ hotels ‘learn’ how to use data to create a better experience.

What is the travel and tourism sector moving towards?

The tourism sector cannot ignore user generated content, peer to peer applications and virtual communities. Due to this, in today’s world, the consumers have access to an enormous amount of information at their fingertips. Recent surveys showed that consumers trusted websites with reviews more than professional guides and tourist agencies. Blogs are considered to be more credible and trustworthy than traditional marketing. Thus, there arises a need to locate, extract and interpret such ‘credible’ blogs and reviews.

Exploring and analyzing such large amounts of data to identify patterns, trends and behaviors allow the tourist agency to predict destinations or more importantly offer customized services. Opinion mining also uses machine learning, a type of AI algorithm to mine text for sentiments. Also known as ‘sentiment analysis’, the system collects and categorizes opinions about a product or a service. AI simplifies the work of the tourism industry professionals, enabling them to concentrate more on improving their profits and customer satisfaction.

AI Developments in the travel and tourism industry

Corporate IT Services and technology consultant Mindtree’s framework ‘Connected Traveller’ uses machine learning to understand the consumer behavior and trends from their travel data. The hotels profit from a better knowledge of consumers through the personal data provided by reservation technology. Machine learning can enable the hotel to offer hyper personalized services.

At Madrid’s Fitur tourism fair, where some of the newest developments were presented, prototype of one hotel showed that tailor made experiences could be offered when customers check in through a mirror equipped with facial recognition. Further, the guests are treated to rooms that complement their habits and desires. Everything in the smart hotel rooms will adjust to the client’s specific needs, including the display of art. All data will be recorded to understand the client’s habits and preferences so that they can enjoy a more customized  experience.

Georgia recently launched a tourism campaign- ‘Emotions are Georgia’, where AI was used to detect genuine tourist emotions from over 70,00,000 posts of travellers to create an ‘emotional’ and accurate guidebook of the country. Giorgi Chogovadze, Head of Georgian National Tourism Administration, believes that these posts are “straightforward, heartfelt and uncensored reviews written by regular tourists who have actually visited the country.”

French technology consultancy Altran developed a prototype aimed at luxury hotels, where ‘smart’ doors are opened and closed through  Whatsapp. The guests can order a pizza in 40 languages through speech recognition technology and the mattress is equipped with sensors that allow the hotel to serve coffee at the right time.

The hotel chain Palladium has replaced paper brochures with virtual reality headsets.

From all these examples, we find that customization is given the utmost preference, as machine learning allows the travel agencies, hotels and attractions to match the desires, habits and preferences of the tourists with the offered services or products. Hence a personalized menu, preferred room temperature, lighting and other services offered helps increase customer satisfaction immensely.

Where is AI taking the travel and tourism industry?

Artificial Intelligence is creating dramatic technological changes, which will also revolutionize the way people travel. Artificial intelligence is already helping major players in the tourism industry in decision making, managing predictive maintenance and handling disruptions like weather conditions. The number of travel agencies and hotels using AI will increase tenfold in the future, just like the present increase in the number of consumers using virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, making them household names. Embracing Artificial Intelligence will benefit travellers as well as tour operators, aviation sector and even hospitality. With the advanced progress that technology is making, radical transformation is all set to happen in the way people live and travel.

This blog was written by our Content Writing Intern – Rona Sara George. Click on the name to view her LinkedIn profile.

Author: Xaltius (Rona Sara George)

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{MIT APP INVENTOR TRAINING} – {NTU}

Xaltius is very passionate about technical training, especially towards young and budding coders. Xaltius was presented with one such opportunity to train NTU students in the area of App Development on the open source App Inventor Platform through a 1-day hands-on workshop.

Through this workshop the students would learn to design and develop simple applications in a very quick turnaround time.

Training the NTU students was a joy. Being able to impart skills and watch the students grow an interest in the programming methodology, was a key highlight of the training experience. It was truly an amazing and enriching workshop for both the parties.

We would like to thank our partners, Code For Asia, for giving us the opportunity to conduct this workshop.

If you are interested to conduct such workshops and talks for your institution, please get in touch with us.

{ACCOUNTING INNOVATION CHALLENGE MENTORING}

The Accounting Innovation Challenge was held in the Singapore Management University Labs in the month of June, 2018. The innovation challenge focused on employing technology, essentially Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning to create innovative solutions in the accounting industry. The innovation challenge saw budding developers, hustlers, accountants, designers engage in a head on battle to build the best solution possible.

Xaltius was given the opportunity to mentor all the participants of the innovation challenge in the aforementioned areas. Besides being able to give the participants guidance in the areas of design, blockchain, smart contracts, AI and Machine Learning Algorithms, the mentors themselves learnt a lot in terms of advancements in the areas of accounting and technology through the interactive discussions with the participants.

We would also like to thank Code For Asia for giving us the opportunity to mentor such wonderful participants.

{DATA SCIENCE STORYTELLING} – {GOOGLE HQ}

Introducing data science to the next generation!

The winners of CodeForAsia’s Codeathon, who were the attendees of this talk, ranged from young students in primary school to university students from various ASEAN countries. One of the co-founders of Xaltius was given the opportunity to speak to them about data science storytelling and the important of data science in the industry today.

The attendees were exposed to the various areas of data science and were given a pathway to tread on to ramp up their learning experience. Xaltius too as a company, gained a lot of insights and perspectives from the attendees, who highlighted how data science was being used as an art to solve various problems in their own countries, which was very valuable.

{WEB APP TRAINING} – {CODEATHON @ NUS} – MARCH 2018

The codeathon event co-conducted with CodeForAsia was really gratifying, with us being able to give back to the community and plant seeds into a new batch of future potential coders.We conducted this event at NUS for over a 100 students and took them through the journey of web designing and how to create their first interactive website. It was really amazing to see as a company and aspiring coders, that the students were enthusiastic and keen to learn and grow.

Working with CodeForAsia was also really great, they were professional and understanding, entrusting into our hands the training program to plan and execute, that made the experience of teaching even more rewarding.

These are some of the comments we got from the attendees of the training event.

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