How Non-Tech Brands Use AI: Travel

Travel used to look like enduring long lines at bus stations or airports to get tickets or tedious interactions with travel agencies and their brochures to book excursions, not mentioning a backpack stuffed with paper tickets. However, the dot-com revolution of the 1990s changed the game, allowing customers to craft their dream itineraries online. And now, AI is taking travel to new heights by reimagining what it means to plan, book, and experience travel. In this guide, we explore how travel companies leverage AI to enhance their services and how AI can simplify the process of planning your next vacation. Here we delve into key categories and businesses within the travel industry where AI is making the most significant impact:

Travel Planning

Planning a trip can be both exciting and overwhelming, with numerous decisions to be made regarding destinations, activities, logistics, and so on. AI can streamline this process by leveraging data analytics and machine learning algorithms to assist travelers in every stage of their journey, from destination discovery to itinerary customization. Whether travelers seek adventure, relaxation, cultural immersion, or gastronomic delights, AI-powered tools can provide tailored recommendations that inspire and inform their travel decisions.

One such example here is Tripadvisor’s AI tool which analyzes a database of over one billion traveler reviews and opinions on Tripadvisor’s website and provides personalized recommendations for travelers. By answering four short questions about a desired destination, travel dates and companions, AI generates a personalized day-by-day itinerary backed by insights from real travelers. Users can then save, edit, and share the plan with their travel companions.

Another helpful tool here is TripIt, a planning app that utilizes AI to organize travel itineraries. By forwarding confirmation emails from airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies, TripIt can create a comprehensive itinerary that includes flight details, hotel reservations, transportation arrangements, and activities. It also provides real-time updates about flight schedules, cancellations, and gate changes. Apart from that TripIt Pro version can offer flight status alerts, alternate flight options, and refund notifications to mitigate travel disruptions.

One more AI-powered tool is provided by Expedia, a leading online travel agency. Expedia members can interact with Expedia’s chatbots to get recommendations on places to go, where to stay, how to get around, and what to see and do. Expedia AI chatbot also automatically saves hotels discussed in the conversation to a “trip” in the app, helping members stay organized and making it easier for them to start choosing dates, checking availability, and adding on flights, cars, or activities.

The most vivid and simplest tool here is also ChatGPT. Travelers can interact with ChatGPT to receive personalized travel recommendations and assistance. Based on the provided prompt, ChatGPT can suggest destinations, accommodations, and activities that align with the travelers’ preferences. For example, Forbes selected some of the most useful prompts to ask ChatGPT to plan a trip:

  • What are great walking tours in (insert place)?
  • Can you give me a road trip itinerary from (place) to (place)?
  • Are there basic foreign language phrases that are good for (place)?
  • We’d like to visit churches and temples in (place). Can you give me a list of 10 sites to visit within an hour drive of (place)?
  • Describe the cuisine of (place) and give me some suggestions to try.
  • We have a total travel budget of $500. Suggest a three-day itinerary for (place).

If you are not satisfied with something, you can ask for improvements and personalize the entire route according to your needs.

Self-Guided Audio Tours

Traveling to new destinations often entails exploring historical landmarks, cultural sites, and local attractions. While guided tours offer insightful narratives and context, they may not always align with travelers’ schedules or preferences. With the help of AI, WeGoTrip introduced a flexible and personalized alternative — on-demand self-guided audio tours.

By analyzing vast amounts of data, including historical facts, cultural insights, and user preferences, AI algorithms can create tailored audio content. Personalized AI-generated audio tours can be based on travelers’ interests, language preferences, and pace of exploration. Whether visitors are history enthusiasts, food connoisseurs, or architecture aficionados, AI ensures that the audio content caters to their specific needs. Unlike traditional guided tours that operate on fixed schedules, self-guided audio tours empower travelers to explore at their own pace.

For example, at WeGoTrip users, by simply specifying the location, duration, and theme, initiate the process, where AI makes the entire tour from route planning to narrative crafting and natural-sounding speech synthesis. Each tour undergoes then human moderation, ensuring it meets over 100 quality standards parameters for accuracy, reliability, and engagement. Users receive their personalized tour within just 48 hours.

In addition to offering personalized and flexible experiences, AI-generated audio tours can also be cost-effective for both travelers and tour operators. As exemplified by WeGoTrip, AI may not only enhance the overall travel experience but also position the company ahead of its competitors by rapidly expanding its tour offerings and geographic reach while maintaining the high-quality standards expected by its customers.

Search For Flights Deals

Finding affordable and convenient flight options is a crucial aspect of travel planning, which AI can also help with.

Optimizing budgets, travelers can use PriceCheck by Kayak, a feature powered by AI that allows travelers to find the best flight deals. By uploading a screenshot of flight information from any source to the Kayak app, PriceCheck leverages computer vision and extracts details from the screenshot like schedules and airlines, and scour the internet for cheaper flight options that match the customer’s parameters. PriceCheck also allows users to set price alerts, ensuring they stay informed about any better deals that may arise.

Another example is Hopper, a popular mobile app that utilizes AI to analyze flight prices and predict future trends. By analyzing vast amounts of historical data, Hopper can forecast when flight prices are likely to rise or fall, allowing travelers to book flights at the optimal time to secure the best deals.

It’s worth mentioning that many popular flight search engines, such as Google Flights and Skyscanner, also harness the power of AI to scan millions of flight options and deliver the most cost-effective fares to users. These platforms enable travelers to easily explore flexible travel dates, compare prices across various airlines and booking channels, and monitor fare trends over time.

Search For Accommodation

Finding the perfect accommodation is a critical aspect of travel planning, influencing the overall experience and satisfaction of travelers. Analyzing user preferences, location data, property features, and pricing trends, AI can help travelers make informed decisions that align with their preferences and budget. Whether travelers seek luxury resorts, boutique hotels, budget-friendly hostels, or unique stays like treehouses or houseboats, AI-powered platforms can offer curated suggestions that match their criteria.

For instance,, one of the world’s largest online travel agencies, rolled out its AI-powered Trip Planner. Users can interact with the Trip Planner to ask general travel-related questions, explore potential destinations and accommodation options, and receive real-time suggestions. Trip Planner also provides a visual list of destinations and properties, including’s pricing information and deep links to view more details.

One more useful platform here is KAYAK which allows users to create price alerts to keep them updated about any changing prices of the hotels, based on their search. In addition to this, KAYAK displays the prices of hotels from various platforms and shows the cheapest deals on the top, eliminating the need for manual searches and inquiries.

Real-Time Assistance

During travel, unforeseen circumstances can arise, such as flight delays, weather changes, or unexpected closures. AI-powered travel planning platforms can provide real-time assistance and updates, helping travelers navigate disruptions and make informed decisions on the go. By analyzing queries and understanding context, AI algorithms can generate accurate and helpful responses in real time, ensuring that travelers receive the assistance they need 24/7 and in any language they speak.

For example, Airbnb employs AI-driven chatbots to provide real-time assistance to hosts and guests on its platform. Travelers can communicate with Airbnb’s chatbots to ask questions, resolve issues, and receive support throughout their stay. Whether it’s requesting additional amenities, reporting maintenance issues, or seeking local recommendations, Airbnb’s chatbots offer personalized assistance to enhance the guest experience.

Behind-the-Scenes AI in Travel

While travelers may interact with AI-powered platforms and services during various stages of their journey, there are also numerous AI applications working behind the scenes to facilitate seamless travel experiences:

  • Baggage Handling: Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands uses AI for its luggage processing systems, which do not have baggage tags. Their approach eliminates the need for baggage tags by utilizing AI-powered luggage-handling systems. Passengers can simply take pictures of their luggage, deposit it, and collect it at their destination without the hassle of attaching labels.
  • Security Screening: Intelligent systems like the “Fly To Gate” from Thales utilize biometric technologies along with document scanners to identify and validate passengers at the security checks. Lufthansa also, for instance, uses facial-field biometrics to conduct touchless routing through security checks and boarding.
  • Accommodation Safety: Beyond air travel, Airbnb utilizes AI to crack down on parties during peak periods like Halloween and New Year’s Eve. By analyzing booking patterns, guest behavior, and property listings, Airbnb’s AI algorithms can identify and flag high-risk reservations, allowing hosts to take proactive measures to maintain safety and security.

In conclusion, it’s clear that we’re witnessing a transformative shift in the travel industry with more AI-powered tools to come. While AI is making travel more accessible and enjoyable, it also gives companies a competitive edge in the market. Looking ahead, the ongoing development of AI technologies holds the promise of even greater convenience, personalization, and efficiency for travelers worldwide.

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