Technology changes on a daily basis, transforming the rules like never before. Something that looked modern and fresh yesterday can appear dated seemingly overnight and trends once dismissed as irrevocably passé can unexpectedly cycle back in vogue.
Over the past few years, AI, big data, and other disruptive technologies have succeeded in transforming many industries already, but an especially positive and remarkable change can be seen in the travel sector. New technologies have simplified the way we get around and experience new places, thanks to companies like Uber and AirBnb. And today, we’ve already entered a new era: that of artificial intelligence and big data.
In fact, the travel industry has always been at the forefront of technology adoption, especially during the dot-com bubble. People want to be able to compare flights and book hotels in a matter of just a few clicks. And now, because of all the information that travel companies are capable of collecting, they are putting it to use in cutting edge ways, sifting through this enormous amount of data to analyze consumer buying behavior.
From rental car companies to hotels, airlines, tour operators and cruise lines, the travel industry includes a wide range of businesses in which each must strive significantly to maximize the overall customer experience. Big data can help these companies to learn more about the preferences of smaller segments of their target audience—even down to the individual level. This eventually gives them the ability to tailor special promotions, deals, experiences, etc.
Do you wish to know why your customer considers choosing you over the competition and vice versa? Data analysis is a golden opportunity to determine such things more easily. In fact, unique differentiation can be used to improve branding, make marketing more cost-effective and even develop new products or promotions that appeal specifically to consumers based on why they are choosing to purchase from one company in particular.
The travel industry may even consider using big data analysis to improve and streamline its operations in numerous ways. For example, it can help marketing pinpoint specific efforts or campaigns that are less effective and change them to generate a greater return on investment. This is just one example of how big data can be revealing and help travel businesses to improve operations for enhanced success and improved profitability going forward.
The data captured through mobile devices can provide travel businesses with insight into their clients’ current location as they travel around the world. At present, several companies have started to harness this real-time data to provide travel assistance and local recommendations. For instance, if a traveler’s smartphone is located next to a popular theme park, restaurant or other attraction, it’s possible to send a special offer or deal via mobile push notification to that traveler in real time, when they are most likely to take advantage of it.
Travel companies must be able to forecast and predict where their potential customers are interested in visiting each travel season so that they can create the most desirable offers as possible ahead of time. For example, cruise lines may be interested in knowing whether cruises to Costa Rica or Cuba will be more in demand next season so they can allocate their vessels and plan their schedules accordingly. Or, airlines may be assessing whether or not to add more direct flights from Bangkok to Phuket several times per week. By analyzing big data, travel companies can better determine how to manage resources going forward in the most cost-effective way and have more confidence in their decisions.
And there you have it, some ways that the travel industry is getting smarter, better, and more profitable thanks to big data and AI.
Are you currently employing either in your business?