AI will impact tourism in the next five years, according to 97.8% of the industry executives recently surveyed.
In five years, we will see a boom in using artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT by travelers to plan their itineraries, according to Euromonitor International's "Voice of the industry: travel survey."
According to Euromonitor International, this service's significant rise in usage can be attributed to its convenience, accessibility from anywhere in the world with just an internet connection, and availability at all times of the day. Its convenience, 24/7 availability, and accessibility from anywhere in the world with just an internet connection and from any device are behind this massive increase in use.
The tourism industry is already adapting. In April last year, Expedia partnered with OpenAI to enhance its services. As a result, the company has integrated ChatGPT into its app, providing a trip planner for iOS users that ChatGPT powers. Additionally, ChatGPT Plus users can benefit from a connector feature. This virtual assistant feature offers personalized recommendations for hotel searches and helpful advice about activities at the chosen destination.
Booking Holding's subsidiaries, Kayak and OpenTable, TripAdvisor, GetYourGuide, and Klook, have all incorporated new features with ChatGPT. Additionally, Trip.com has implemented ChatGPT into their newly launched AI chatbot, TripGen. TripGen offers real-time itinerary assistance, planning, and pre-trip booking suggestions.
Many hotels and airlines now rely on generative AI to improve customer service while automating tedious tasks. Soon, it's likely that these companies will continue to integrate AI technology to create a more seamless trip-planning and booking experience that allows for real-time access to booking functionality. According to Euromonitor, generative AI is still in its early stages but already offers consumers a top-notch concierge service, as referred to by Airbnb.
Industry experts have expressed concerns about the challenges of adopting AI, particularly regarding consumer privacy. Some countries, like Italy, have even temporarily banned ChatGPT. Another issue is that large language models like ChatGPT may rely on outdated internet knowledge, with a delay of up to two years, and lack access to real-time information. However, it has recently been connected to Microsoft's Bing to improve its capabilities.
There are also concerns about the potential risks of increased misinformation, bias, and inequality that could arise from AI development. Therefore, safety and consumer protection must remain top priorities. Tech leader Elon Musk has called for a pause in AI development to avoid potential negative impacts on humanity. In addition, there is a risk that superintelligence will lead to the extinction of mankind. He has emphasized the need for government policies to catch up with the rapid pace of AI development.
According to experts, travel agents experienced significant disruption thirty years ago due to the rise of online bookings. This led to outlet closures and job losses. Currently, the industry is preparing for more disruption as generative AI speeds up the automation of tasks throughout the customer's journey, from before the trip, during, and even after.
Microsoft is set to incorporate generative AI into its Microsoft 365 Copilot software, which means we will likely encounter it more often in our daily lives and work, whether we want to or not.
The tourism industry will encounter complex challenges during this new phase of digital transformation, and a test-and-learn approach is necessary. However, only those who preserve the personal touch of travel and lodging will successfully thrive.