AI Planning Intrigues Travelers But Human Interaction Remains Important

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to evolve and transform how everyday tasks are completed, a new survey by reveals travelers appear to have an open mind when utilizing the technology to assist with booking travel. The online travel agency’s research shows that all generations (more than 90 percent of those surveyed) are comfortable utilizing online platforms to book travel—but in different ways. Gen Z showed the greatest preference for having human interaction when scheduling travel and other related activities, which is most likely because they lack experience in this arena—not because they lack online savvy.

When asked about the overall awareness of AI’s involvement in travel, only 19 percent had any knowledge of AI when booking their most recent travel. However, 44 percent of those surveyed said they would be open to exploring AI’s capabilities on future trips. Around half of Gen Z (51 percent) and Millennial travelers (52 percent) are happy to turn to AI for assistance.

Digging a little deeper, those who said they would turn to AI for help with booking travel look forward to discoveries and the potential for greater efficiency. Those who would not, on the other hand, are skeptical of its capabilities and concerned about data security—but, most importantly, they don’t want to lose a fun part of the travel experience: Planning and booking their trip and activities.

Among those open to using AI, 59 percent said they like the idea of using AI to make discoveries they wouldn’t have found otherwise and 49 percent said AI could make annoying, menial tasks more efficient. Nearly half (49 percent) of those surveyed admitted to being skeptical of what AI can do in terms of planning travel, while 42 percent said they don’t want to give their personal information to AI. Along those lines, mistrust is greatest among older travelers: 45 percent of Baby Boomers and 42 percent of Gen X say they would not at all trust AI to plan their trip. Millennials are the most open with 16 percent expressing complete trust.

While a great deal of travel booking does take place digitally, most of those surveyed, regardless of generation, said having human interaction remains an important aspect of the overall travel booking experience. Nearly 90 percent said human interaction is important, specifically when it comes to needing assistance and being able to contact customer support. In terms of flight and hotel booking, 35 percent said human interaction is very important and 29 percent said itinerary planning needs were best met when speaking to a live customer service agent.


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