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Artificial intelligence in travel

Artificial intelligence is being used in the travel industry to personalise marketing and improve facilities.

Technology can help to track who is viewing a certain travel website, for example, and also predict what they might do next.

Alex Susskind, associate dean of academic affairs at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, said: "We need these mechanisms to reach their target markets. They need to know who wants to see pictures before they buy, who decides mainly on price, who likes to speak to someone."

Whilst Tammy Snow, the director of user experience research at Expedia, added: "What has shifted significantly is how we are combining technology and methodologies."

Alex Hopwood, a director of product management at Expedia, shared: "We get so close to a feature that we start making assumptions and think we know what the customer wants. Seeing how a real traveller uses the website and reacts to it is almost like a slap in the face - in a good way."

And it even goes one step further, with design teams for large hotel companies creating the rooms or spaces using "virtual and augmented reality systems" before actually building them, to ensure they meet the hotels' guests needs.

Meg Prendergast, a design principal for the Chicago-based Gettys Group, told the New York Times newspaper: "More than ever, clients are open to have our team design their spaces using virtual and augmented reality systems that allow them to experience designed space before it is actually built."

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