According to Gartner, 85% of interactions in tourism will be handled without human help thanks to AI chatbots that will shorten customers waiting time and will take care of customers’ satisfaction.

The application of generative AI in the travel industry, in particular, makes it possible to increase the level of service, the productivity of operators and the personalization of offers and the user experience.

In this article we examine the areas of application of chatbots in the tourism sector, deepening the opportunities offered by Large Language Models.

artificial intelligence in the tourism industry: there’s a chatbot in the hotel room!

Conversational chatbots and virtual assistants are already revolutionizing the hotel industry, improving customers’ engagement, increasing conversion rates and booking volumes, and personalizing the whole customer’s experience.

where are chatbots employed?

There are 5 main areas:

Smart booking

Conversational interfaces always available 24/7 can directly manage customers frequent asked questions, provide information about hotel services, check hotel rates, book a room, reducing customers’ churn or online booking bouncing rate.

Enhanced Customer experience

Conversational chatbots answer promptly customers’ enquiries and transfer requests to the hotel staff in case of need; also they can engage the customer through product’s cross-selling and up-selling conversations, or even use the chat flow to conduct a sentiment analysis, with no need to request customers their time to fill out a survey.

Data-driven marketing

Using chatbots data analytics about customers’ experience and feedback, the hotel management can launch “data driven” marketing initiatives, define marketing “personas” on the basis of feedback, preferences, behaviours, payment methods and propose customized offers.

In room Virtual assistants

Vocal chatbots inside hotel rooms provide real time answer to customers’ requests, forward customers’ needs to the hotel staff, book services and program itineraries, suggest activities, anticipating customers’ needs through data analyitcs.

Concierge Robotics 

Connie, short for Conrad Hilton, AKA the Hilton hotel chain founder, is the concierge robot created by IBM in partnership with Hilton, and currently employed at the front desk of Hilton McLean in Virginia. Connie behaves just like a human concierge, welcoming guests and answering to customers’ frequent requests, proving suggestions and directions by moving and pointing towards, while lighting up his eyes in different colours according to different emotions.

Generative AI for tourism

Generative artificial intelligence helps to increase the level of experience and personalization, but also the productivity of tourism operators.

Let’s see some examples.

  • Personalized travel recommendations: Generative AI algorithms can analyze large amounts of data, including user preferences, historical travel patterns and online reviews, to provide personalized travel recommendations. By understanding individual preferences, generative AI can suggest tailor-made itineraries, accommodations and activities, enhancing the overall travel experience.
  • Virtual Travel Experiences: Generative AI can create realistic virtual environments, allowing travelers to experience destinations virtually. This technology can be used by travel agencies and tourism boards to showcase destinations, allowing potential travelers to explore and interact with the virtual environment. This immersive experience can generate interest and increase bookings.
  • Translation and language localization: In an increasingly globalized world, language barriers can hinder travel experiences. AI-powered generative translation and localization systems can fill these gaps by providing real-time translations, enabling travelers to communicate effectively abroad. This improves interactions with locals, enhances safety, and facilitates smoother travel experiences.
  • Content creation and descriptions of travel destinations: thanks to generative AI it is possible to increase the quantity and quality of travel contents of blogs and booking portals, functional to search engine optimization.

The hotel industry is finding in AI a special ally to bring customer’s experience to the highest level, from the booking experience to the hotel stay, while at the same time data analytics help the hotel management to optimize services, anticipate customers’ needs and provide a tailored-made user experience.