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How generative AI can tackle “information overload” and empower travelers

In today’s digital age, travelers are bombarded with an
overwhelming amount of information both online and offline when it comes to
planning their trips. From countless options for flights, hotels and activities
to an endless stream of advertisements, competing claims and recommendations
from and for different brands, the process of making travel decisions has
become increasingly complex. 

Consumer Pulse 2024 research
revealed the impact of this “information
overload” in travel (hotels, resorts, flights) purchases, with 64% feeling
overwhelmed by how much information is available. Sixty-eight percent feel they check too
many sources to understand the available options, and 77% wish they could
identify the available options that suit their needs more quickly and easily.

To further illustrate the problem, the research also found
that consumers feel that booking a hotel can be harder than buying a car and
booking a hotel can be as nerve-wracking as getting a mortgage. This highlights
the challenges travelers face in navigating the information overload that
plagues the travel industry, and the potential loss of customers and revenue
that companies could suffer as a result. 

GenAI – a partner for every step of the journey

Fortunately, there is a solution that could revolutionize
travel and cut through the noise, while thwarting the threat to revenue and
loyalty. Generative artificial intelligence has the power to transform the way travelers make
decisions, providing tailored and hyper-relevant information and suggestions in
real time. By leveraging the capabilities of generative AI, travel companies
including airlines, transportation and hospitality firms can enhance engagement
and sales.

According to Accenture’s research, 87% of travelers want
generative AI to provide specific recommendations they can rely on every time,
while 82% want to be surprised with new suggestions they wouldn’t have
otherwise considered. Additionally, 79% of travelers wish generative AI could
manage tasks on their behalf. These statistics highlight the desire for a more
streamlined and personalized travel experience, which generative AI can

Imagine a traveler searching for a hotel in a new city.
Instead of being overwhelmed by countless options and conflicting reviews, GenAI can act as a travel influencer, providing bespoke recommendations based on
the traveler’s preferences, budget and location. It can consider factors such
as previous travel history, loyalty program status and even real-time data on
local events and attractions. This level of personalization and convenience
empowers travelers to make informed decisions quickly and confidently.

One example of a company that has recognized the value of
generative AI is Marriott International. Part of a pilot program at
its Renaissance hotels, RENAI is like a local insider
who knows all the
best restaurants, secret spots and can’t-miss attractions at a destination. In
a fusion of new tech and traditional hospitality, hotel associates who know
their cities well helped to train RENAI. Guests no longer have to wait until check-in
to meet RENAI — they can connect before they leave home.

Another way generative AI can add value is by acting as a
creative partner for travel marketers. By leveraging the technology’s
capabilities in design, research and content creation, companies can deliver
more targeted and intuitive marketing campaigns. For example, it can analyze
customer data to identify specific interests and preferences, allowing travel
marketers to tailor their messaging and offers accordingly. This not only saves
time and effort for both the company and the customer but also enhances the
overall travel experience.

The future of travel with generative AI

As the adoption of GenAI technology increases and evolves,
the travel world is poised for a significant transformation. Travelers will
feel less overwhelmed by the abundance of choices and information. Instead,
they will have access to personalized recommendations, targeted suggestions
and AI-powered assistance in managing tasks such as negotiating, purchasing and
resolving queries or complaints.

The travel industry is at a crossroads, with information
overload posing a significant challenge for both travelers and consumer-facing
companies, creating a siloed and disjointed booking experience. However,
generative AI has the potential to simplify, accelerate and enrich the travel
booking experience, providing the sights, sounds and information and acting as a
“travel influencer,” elevating customized recommendations in real time to help
consumers feel more confident, informed and engaged.

The use of GenAI technology in travel will not only drive
customer engagement, loyalty and sales but also redefine the relationships
between companies and their customers. The future of travel is bright, and GenAI is the key to unlocking its full potential. However, as adoption of GenAI
technology grows, it is important for companies to stay hyper-focused on their
competitive differentiators, as experiences could start to blend across brands.

About the author …

Emily Weiss is the senior managing director and global lead of Accenture’s Travel Industry Practice.


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