By Sachin Gupta, Chancellor, Sanskriti University
The travel and hospitality industry in India has been on a rise and has been one of the main factors of growth. AI, machine learning and big data analytics have brought a revolution in the travel and hospitality industry and made India one of the most digitally advanced traveller nations. Due to the rapid digitization, the travel and tourism sector contributed over $194 billion to GDP in 2019 alone which was 6.8% of the total economy.
In terms of travel and tourism, India also ranked 10th among 185 countries in the world. There are billions of transactions and booking of trips done on a daily basis by the travellers. The travel queries also grew by 53% in 2017 and are increasing rapidly. So, there is a huge amount of data that has to be handled to provide customer satisfaction, good customer experience and a lot more where the future of technologies like machine learning, AI and big data analytics play a very crucial role.
Applications of AI, ML & Big Data Analytics
Payment fraud is the most popular type of fraud done by people in which scammers use stolen credit card to book or use for their own accommodation while some scammers claim the card to be stolen and ask for a chargeback. Keeping these situations in mind travel and hospitality industry have created a customized machine learning model and implemented AI technology to detect and predict fraud.
Intelligent Travel Assistant
AI has gained a rapid pace in various sectors of the industries as convenience is all that people ask for. The intelligent programming bots are trained in such a way to perform tasks on the basis of user’s request. More than 55% of the consumers like communicating with bots. Travel booking is just one of the fields wherein automated machine learning algorithms are used.
Apart from the hospitality sector, airlines too utilize the power of artificial intelligence to process customer support since most of the consumers demand for quick responses to their inquiries. Chat-bot and AI play a key role in customer service and support. This use of customer support not only helps businesses in brand loyalty to grow but also increases the business output and performance.
Forecasting of Flight Fare and Hotel Price
Meta search fields enable online travel agencies to work in a smart and efficient way by tracking down and sending alerts about the changing and varying hotel prices and flight fare to attract customers to book more trips. The online travel bookings hit $755 billion in 2019 and according to estimations more than 700 million people would adopt online hotel bookings by 2023. This programme uses machine learning algorithms to forecast the future price on the basis of factors such as demand growth, special offers, seasonal trends and many other deals.
Online travel booking providers suggest the customers various options based on their recent searches and bookings while it also provides alternative destinations so that one can visit as their next trip. This automated recommendation is solely based on the customers data. Engaging in these engines increases sales, keep loyal customers coming back and also upsells.
Scopes of AI, ML & Big Data Analytics
The future scope of machine learning, AI and big data analysis depends on data from the past and the present to predict a better future. The offers can be presented to the individuals based on their preferences by analysing the data from various sources like weather, flight fares and much more. More than 71% of the travellers in India share their personal details for a personalized experience. So, the future of travel and hospitality is about the abilities to manage the data with a range of technologies like AI and machine learning for a transformative and memorable experience.
Impact on the Job Market
The travel and hospitality sector have many sub-sectors consisting of a lot of complex data which creates an impact on the companies as they face challenges when it comes to establishing insights from the database. This creates a rise for data professionals in organisations as having them gives an assurance that the complex data is being used effectively with the use of data lending and cross departmental collaboration within the company.
As travellers nowadays want more individual attention and do not wish to be treated as one of many as they want to experience the view pertaining to their own needs this creates a rise for millions of job opportunities to provide them with the customized experiences they prefer.
Fusion of skills
This industry demands a lot of soft skills but technological skills cannot be completely ignored as it plays a key role in the travel and hospitality industry. Job opportunities in this industry demand fusion of both the skills equally as it keeps the balance of traditional ways of working with the flow of emerging technological aspects.
The new and the future emerging technologies have a huge impact in the travel and hospitality sector because of its various applications and future scopes. In the coming years, the sector will surely flourish if the right fusions are created.