Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to dominate travel tech in 2019, with increasing investment in chatbots, automated content and machine learning revealed in a recent poll.
The poll, conducted by Travel Technology Europe, found that industry professionals are "most excited about" various AI technologies this year, thanks to the opportunity it offers for more interaction and personalised solutions.
When asked which specific AI technologies travel companies were planning to invest in over the next 12 months, chatbots topped the list (36%), closely followed by automated content (35%), machine learning (32%) and voice recognition (29%).
This demonstrates the growing recognition that personalisation and tailored experiences are key within travel marketing, says Paul Stephen, advisory board member for Travel Technology Europe.
"Customers will not tolerate generic, irrelevant marketing," adds Stephen. "Through the use of chat, voice and machine learning, a traveller can look forward to a more interactive and relevant conversation with travel brands that have recognised that to be successful, they need to embrace these emerging technologies now."
The findings indicate that both the opportunities and challenges presented by technology, have prompted travel companies to increase their tech budgets, with 59% planning to spend more in 2019 than they did in 2018. Around 34% of respondents indicated that they were willing to spend in excess of £100,000, compared to 18% in 2018.
Commenting on the poll findings, David Chapple, group show director, Travel Technology Europe said: "It’s really exciting to see travel brands embracing AI technology and putting plans in place to implement it within their organisations as opposed to viewing chatbots or virtual assistants for example as passing fads."
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