Consumers expect real-time, frictionless experiences in every single brand engagement—both online and off. The travel industry is no exception to this rule.
Combine that with a landscape where new competitors are vying for the travel customer’s wallet, and it’s easy to see that the industry has reached a point of inflection, according to John Spencer, a managing director in Accenture’s travel practice. Travel brands need to make a “wise pivot and rotate to new sources of competitive advantage,” he said. “But they must do this while still growing the core business.”
Artificial intelligence, experiential marketing, mobile and geolocation, and dynamic personalization are some of the main tactics travel brands are embracing to better engage customers and get ahead of the competition. Let’s take a closer look.
According to Spencer, AI has become a useful tool for improving travel brands’ ability to forecast and respond to demand. Machine learning, for example, can be used to dynamically adjust room prices or flight costs based on internal and external market data. Case in point: Google Flights uses AI and machine learning to predict communicate delays before the information is officially available from the airlines.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas also is using AI via a new concierge named Rose. Upon checking in to the hotel, guests are given a card that reads: “Know my secrets. Text me,” and “I am the answer to the question that you never asked.” Rose responds immediately to queries and requests, such as the best places to shop or the need for more towels in the room.