AI will revolutionise travel and tourism, says WTTC

AI will revolutionise travel and tourism, says WTTC

The council is urging the industry to embrace artificial intelligence technologies in order to improve 

A new series of reports from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Microsoft has been launched to highlight the transformative power of AI (Artificial Intelligence) for travel and tourism businesses.

The first report calls on the sector to facilitate greater integration of AI technologies and highlights how AI can predict future demand patterns, efficiently allocating resource and providing valuable insights for governments and stakeholders. This contribution can be pivotal in promoting sustainability with efficient resource management by monitoring and minimising environmental impacts, ensuring a more responsible and sustainable sector.

The report also covers how AI can play a pivotal role throughout the traveller’s journey with technology that can generate personalised recommendations and marketing strategies by analysing traveller data, optimise pricing strategies through real-time adjustments and offer instant responses and fine-tuned interactions via sophisticated AI-powered chatbots. 

Despite the increasing examples of AI applications in travel and tourism, the report reveals the sector lags behind other consumer-facing industries in AI adoption.

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Challenges that must be overcome by travel and tourism businesses include a shortage of AI-skilled workers, limited AI infrastructure, and the absence of a formal ‘AI strategy’ in many business plans. 

Amid concerns about AI's impact on jobs, the report also addresses the potential for job creation, recognising that although AI will be disruptive, it will in turn generate new opportunities.

WTTC president and CEO Julia Simpson (pictured) said: "As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of travel and tourism, AI emerges as a catalyst for positive change. The transformative capabilities highlighted in this report demonstrate that AI is not just a technological advancement, it's a strategic tool that can personalise the customer experience, drive sustainable improvements and create real time pricing models.”

Microsoft Travel, Transport & Logistics managing director Julie Shainock added: "Using Microsoft's Azure OpenAI Models across the travel sector allows greater productivity for companies and drives a more personalised consumer experience. For travellers, there's the ability to drive more inspiration and personalised offers [and] assist them in destination by anticipating their needs and providing relevant information to improve their journey. For travel companies, GenAI is there to increase productivity, automate the predictable and allow our human-centric approach to the high value moments in travel to shine more.” 

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