A New Age of Smart Tourism: AI and Travel
And still there are downsides. There are concerns that robots could replace real human expertise in the tourism sector, and the rise of easy-access tourism can have negative and long-lasting consequences for cities and the environment.
But AI can be used to solve the challenges that accessible, automated tourism creates. A new age of smart tourism is beginning. Travel Weekly says that harnessing AI will “dramatically boost the potential for agents to present consumers with personalized, niche travel experiences that they didn’t know they were looking for”. Using AI as an extra tool to understand tourist profiles can provide special, tailor-made experiences, and even promote a move away from mass tourism to the same locations by guiding customers towards lesser known attractions and destinations perfect for them.
An emerging smart tourism movement hopes to positively impact both visitors and the cities that host them. Big data and AI are resources that can help to really understand the needs of locals and tourists alike. Companies, agencies and cities have the opportunity to tap into into intelligent travel technology for social listening. That means they can promote and create culturally, economically, and environmentally beneficial solutions. The goal, as one article says, is to build “a healthier and higher quality place to visit, live and do business in.”
By listening better, travel organizations can be smarter when making strategic decisions. AI makes it possible to “delve into swathes of customer feedback such as surveys and reviews”. But the sheer quantity of information can still be overwhelming. And surveys and reviews are limited pools of data, impersonal accounts that only a tiny number of travelers do.