Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, big data, dynamic pricing and biometrics are all making headline news. What used to be in the scenes of sci-fi movies has now become reality. More of us are welcoming smart devices into our home and office, and have grown accustomed to the benefits and personalized experiences machine learning has brought to our interactions with companies and each other. The travel industry is no different, using these new technologies to capitalize on potential opportunities both internally and with consumers.
Top travel industry trends that are happening now
From the way travel professionals work to how airlines interact with travelers, the world is changing, and in this post we are going to explore the top technology trends to watch for in 2019 and beyond.
These top 5 trends are already making their way into our everyday life:
- Data and technology expertise is a requirement – For those working in the travel profession, expectations have just gotten a little higher. Emerging tools and technologies are becoming more prevalent in the workplace, and workers are expected to incorporate them into their current workflow. Often, these new tools provide helpful and important data that travel professionals need to negotiate with vendors.
- Traveler-specific dynamic pricing – The airline industry is working to bring all airfare data across all distribution models together, creating one community-driven marketplace. What does this mean for consumers? Airlines are able to use data collected on each traveler (web searches, past flights, etc.) and offer pricing specific to that individual. As with any new technology, there are concerns over whether or not airlines will overcharge certain customers based on their past purchasing behaviors and income. To ensure corporate travelers are getting the best price possible, intelligent price tracking tools such as Yapta’s FareIQ and RoomIQ will become even more import.
- Data-driven RFPs – Machine learning and AI bring with them a plethora of data that corporate travel and procurement managers can use for better negotiations and strategic planning. When preparing for RFPs and supplier negotiations, travel professionals need to know how they compare in the marketplace, and this is where data comes into play. Tools such as Yapta’s TravelAI, gives procurement teams full visibility into airfare and hotel prices throughout the travel lifecycle, and shows how they are performing relative to market rates. This information puts travel professionals in a better position for negotiations.
- Biometrics in the airport – You’ve seen it in the movies—facial recognition, voice recognition, finger prints, retina scanning—and now you will get to experience it in the airport. Airlines and airports are starting to use these biometrics to eliminate the need for everything from boarding passes to security checks. The goal is to enhance the travelers experience, making it much smoother and faster, reducing the time spent making their way through the airport and to the gate.
- Increased use of Bots – AI and machine learning are getting smarter, making some roles in the travel industry obsolete. Programs such as Microsoft Azure have allowed companies to create bots that interact with travelers across multiple platforms, and in more human ways. As these programs get more advanced, they will be able to do everything from making travel recommendations to help booking tickets, decreasing the need for customer service agents.
These technology trends open up a multitude of opportunities for the travel industry. Travel professionals have more tools to offer best-of-class service to customers, as well as access to data for better vendor negotiations. Travelers are receiving more tailored experiences in airports and hotels. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Download our white paper to learn more.