AI and the future of the travel industry

Mo Shakarchi, Chief Product & Innovation Officer
24 Apr 2023

Women on phone

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is seemingly on everybody’s radar, and its rapid evolvement is largely thanks to powerful new computing systems such as cloud and quantum that can store, analyse, and process vast amounts of digital data.
Artificial Intelligence has been evolving for many years. So why is it getting so much buzz now? Through a combination of increase in compute power (Cloud, Quantum) and volume of data and digital events, we are now seeing its value grow exponentially as it is able to consume more information and self-learn using more powerful compute than ever before.

From Narrow intelligence to solve a single problem, to Artificial General intelligence (AGI) that can power multiple solutions, AI has come a long way. Artificial Super Intelligence with high intellect and cognitive traits, which was once a distant dream, isn’t far behind either, in fact - it’s at our door.
This is a truly exciting time because, just like the first machines which helped us scale human labour by mimicking our muscles, AI is scaling our cognitive abilities. So where does AI fit in the travel industry and what does the future hold?
Personalised Products and experiences; AI front and centre 

AI will be at the core of creating an accompanying butler of sorts for your travel requirements – knowing your preferences and anticipating, recommending and organising your journey. It will eliminate human errors and curate a personalised and unique travel experience for users. AI provides a wide spectrum of insight that lends itself well to more intuitive and personalised travel experiences, through direct interactions or by being the ‘electricity’ fuelling the product and services offered. Either way, AI will be at the core of delivering a far superior travel experience.

The future of the travel industry is connected 

As people start experiencing the benefits of AI it will advance the way they plan, book and consume travel benefits and experiences. 

In response, AI, combined with the advancements of Web3.0, will offer seamless interaction across the travel industry, resulting in a travel experience that has multiple models connected to each other to deliver better experiences and match the demands of the end user.

The intelligence of software combined with physical robotics will see a radical shift in how people will engage with services and experiences in travel.
Airport security and identification plays an important role in making travel secure and enjoyable for passengers and AI has a critical role in advancing both. Given the regulatory complexities across geographies this is likely to be a long-term play, but will eventually create a deeper intelligence and rigour. 

The travel industry will change and adapt to this new world, and new business models will appear that will drive a faster, more personalised and memorable experience for travellers. 

Evolved skills requirement 

All of this will require new skills to make it possible and sustainable and, as with all automation, jobs within the travel industry will need to evolve and adapt. New roles will be created to focus on engaging with AI to provide new and improved travel experiences. Product and technology professionals will work with AI to optimise experiences and create enhanced products, services, and benefits.
In the American Express Travel 2023 Global Travel Trends research, respondents from the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Japan and India provided an interesting insight into changing travel trends and how these are becoming influenced by the modern world: research noted that 75% of respondents have been inspired by social media to travel to a specific destination, while 64% agreed they were influenced to travel to a location after seeing a tv show, movie or news source. It is clear that our travel experiences are becoming increasingly personalised and inspired by the world around us, further projecting the need and value of Generative AI in utilising user intent, serving up tailored offerings and many more opportunities to come.

AI, AGI, ML and Collinson

At Collinson, we’re already working to lead this change across the industry by collaborating with various travel brands and technology leaders with an improved end user experience in mind. We’re closely watching consumer behaviour for insights into the future so we’re ready to evolve and build new propositions and services before the market demands.
After a few years of blight, the future of the travel industry looks bright and ready for a big change. At Collinson, along with our clients and industry partners, we’re excited to play a relevant and powerful role in travel’s new dawn, and I can't wait to tell you more about it in the coming months.

Mo Shakarchi, Chief Product & Innovation Officer

Mo guides our product and innovation, shaping the travel experience and loyalty of tomorrow, by placing the customer at the heart of what Collinson does. He’s responsible for all global and regional product, data and innovation strategy and execution. 
Mo brings a wealth of product leadership, commercial and customer acumen after more than 17 years working for leading organisations across the energy, technology and communications sectors, latterly at Vodafone. He is also an advisory member across start-ups.                                                                                

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