MarketHub Americas: AI and Tech Top Focus for Travel in 2023

Tourism leaders attending the MarketHub Americas by Hotelbeds have reported that artificial intelligence (AI) and technology will be their top strategic priority for 2023.

A poll among the event’s almost 500 attendees found that 32 percent plan to embrace AI and tech above anything else this year. This was closely followed by 28 percent of companies planning to innovate more. The survey was rounded out with 13 percent planning to offer a more personalized service, 11 percent on creating and using more data and 9 percent focusing on the connected trip.

“AI has become the hot topic in the travel industry but it’s a tool Hotelbeds has been using for some time, particularly to assist with customer service via chatbots,” said Nicolas Huss, CEO of Hotelbeds. “There’s no doubt that the whole travel ecosystem can benefit from this technology: It can not only improve customer service, but also provide an elevated personalized experience by remembering preferences and automatically implementing them each time an individual books their next trip.”

The audience heard how AI and machine learning simplifies travel decisions for the customer, shortens the time of purchase and enhances personalized offerings throughout the entire travel lifecycle. For travel businesses, meanwhile, automating low priority tasks frees up times for the human workforce, which can then be used to add further value to their customers. This was supported by @hotel and NH Hotel Group (part of Minor Hotels), with both companies telling the conference how important they think it will be, not only this year, but in years to come as well.

“Technology is helping us to elevate guest services. We offer our customers seamless personalized experiences while also providing operational efficiencies,” said Diana Marin, SVP sales and distribution at NH Hotel Group (part of Minor). “AI [is] also using it to predict trend, thanks to powerful algorithms, to analyze data from various source, what’s coming up next is right there.”

Konrad Walliszewski, CEO of @hotel, added: “There’s no doubt AI is going to disrupt travel but it’s too early to tell just how much. It’s not just about using AI and machine learning to make every employee more productive—you’re missing out if you only do that. It will soon become the new norm but it’s moving so fast that we all need to stay on top of it.”

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