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Doubt Persists Among Travelers, Yet Travel Industry Embraces AI
Despite its growing prevalence, trust and concerns surround the use of artificial intelligence in the travel industry. A recent study by the National Research Group revealed that while 49 percent of travelers found AI tools helpful in trip planning, the majority expressed reservations.
Security issues and a lack of trust were the main concerns among study participants. Eighty-one percent of travelers want to double-check the information provided by AI and are unwilling to share details about their children. Additionally, 77 percent hesitated to grant access to essential travel documents, while 51 percent worried about personal data risks.
Nevertheless, AI has already found its way into the travel industry. Major online travel agencies, like Kayak and Expedia, employ ChatGPT in their online chat services to communicate with travelers, assist with itinerary planning, and predict pricing.
Even travel agencies are embracing AI. Stephen Scott, CEO of Travel Hub 365 and the Odyssey Travel app, utilizes AI programs to create itineraries, allowing customers to generate initial reference points later refined by his team.
Should AI Completely Replace Humans?
While the lack of trust persists, AI implementation in the travel industry continues. However, many industry professionals, particularly travel advisors, believe that AI should not replace human interactions and personalization.
Technology and travel experts view AI as a game-changer for customer service but emphasize that it should augment human roles, not replace them. AI is already in use for back-end business tasks, freeing up time to focus on providing exceptional customer service.
Can AI Be Trusted For Travel?
Though cautious about the technology, travel advisors acknowledge its potential benefits. Those who don’t adopt AI fear being left behind rather than being replaced. Concerns about frustrating experiences with AI and its potential misuse in criminal activities may drive travelers to seek the assistance of travel advisors. Trust is a crucial factor favoring human advisors who offer personalized insights. Advisors also have connections with local contacts and a wealth of travel knowledge that AI algorithms cannot replicate.
Despite the uncertainties, travel advisors will remain in demand. Instead, they will utilize AI to save time, manage their business, and enhance customer service. While AI will continue to evolve, its use in the travel industry should complement travel advisors’ expertise and personal touch. As travelers navigate AI concerns, advisors can focus on delivering great service and fostering human connections globally.