In this blog, I will discuss and demonstrate some examples of AI (Artificial Intelligence) usage case for the Travel Industry and our implementation at Keytours Vacations with Virtual Assistant (part of KeyBrain).
Keytours Vacations is proud to operate as a hybrid travel company, combining the best of technology together with high touch customer service through a team of travel experts.
KeyBrain is a technology subsidiary company of Keytours Vacations that develops sophisticated travel management solutions. Our current web-based Dynamic Packaging system (version 5.0), seamlessly builds custom packages and tours, aggregating services from multiple suppliers (airlines, hotels, rental cars, trains, sightseeing, and activities).
Our next system update (version 6.0) due to launch in Q2 of 2021 will include AI technologies which will build Personalized Vacation packages or search various preset tours using Virtual Assistant through Webchats and Facebook Messenger. Utilizing natural language processing technologies, Virtual Assistant will have an interface with, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. Later, additional interfaces will be added, including Apple’s Siri, WhatsApp, and other intelligent assistants.
In this document, I will discuss in detail how AI technologies will be implemented to positively affect travel technology and the industry at-large. Finally, I will share a short video showing a prototype of a Virtual Assistant (our beta of version 6.0).
Current online booking systems mainly interact based on the user’s inputs through keyboard and mouse click entries, and some AI technology that helps predict and present better solutions.
Our Virtual Assistant (virtual travel expert) is available 24/7 and always eager to answer and assist you and your customers with any travel-related questions. Virtual Assistant keeps learning system usage and behaviors from you, your customers, and other users and if there is a need for more assistance, Virtual Assistant will solicit a travel agent and/or your input and continues to learn. Virtual Assistant adapts to all travel agency business verticals (Corporate, Leisure, Land, Cruise, Meetings, etc.) understands different languages, and simply takes the heavy lifting of your business by answering most questions, building itineraries for tour or cruise selections, etc.
As a Travel agent and/or business owner, you will be responsible to keep training this type of system and to do final quality control! The system can easily be integrated with your web site, or Facebook or IVR phone systems.
In our usage case, we use the AI Natural Language Processing system together with some Machine learning models of AI. Due to the strong foundation of our existing travel technology platform and connections to multiple suppliers, building and training the new System is relatively easy for KeyBrain’s engineering team.
Here is how our upcoming system works. There are 5 main intents:
1-) Find and/or create new vacation or tour program
Engage with client questions as follows: what are their interests, where do they wish to travel, for how long, how many people, category of hotels or trips choice, to/from which gateway airports will they be traveling, class of air service? and
“Find me the trips in Italy no longer than 10 days and price is less than $ 5,000 per person including air from Miami”.
“Do you have flights from Paris to London on September 17th with luggage allowance?“
“I need a private shore excursion in Barcelona starting at 9 am and return at 5 pm”
“I need a boutique hotel in Santorini for my Honeymoon clients starting June 19th for 5 nights”.
If the system is reviewing a previous customer’s new request, most of their preferences will be remembered.
Based on this information and different variation phrases Virtual Assistant can understand, find, and present various options and trip ideas with prices, etc.
If the requested trip options do not exist, Virtual Assistant will encourage the client to build vacation packages from scratch, asking customer which cities customer wants to visit, for how long, when, what activities and hotels they want to select, and the system will build fully personalized trips within a few seconds or minutes. During this process, Virtual Assistant adopts an upsell strategy with offering cross-sale alternatives, while also giving advice on potential better ways of traveling based on dates or time of departure which will result in cost savings
After these dialogs, Virtual Assistant automatically builds a sophisticated mini-website for each trip proposal which is presented to the customer or Travel Agent to review and share with other traveling members or, in the case of a Travel Agent, with their own customer. This white label mini-website allows the Travel Agent to share the E-Itinerary with their own Travel Agency logo or photo and personal contact details.
2-) Manage one or more of the existing trips
Either travel agents or individual travelers can manage their trip asking Virtual Assistant some questions such as,
“When is my deposit due”,
“When should I pay my final payment”,
“When will I receive my travel documents“,
“Can I change my hotel from 4 star to 5 star in Paris”, and
“How long is my existing flight from Los Angeles to London”.
Travel agents can login to the system and start asking these questions
“How much commission will I receive”,
“How many Key Rewards points will I earn for this itinerary”,
“What is my current Key Rewards loyalty points balance”,
“Which Fam trips are available this fall”
Answer frequently asked questions before, during, and after the trip including but not limited to payments, revision and cancelation terms and conditions, destination details like what-to-do, where to eat or shop, weather and safety details, visa information, airport, flight cancellations related issues.
The system can understand and answer basic questions such as
“What is your cancellation policy”,
“How is the weather in Istanbul during September”,
“Do I need a visa for travel to Peru?”,
“How much will it cost to add travel insurance to my existing trip”,
“Tell me the best restaurants close to my hotel in Tallinn”,
“What is the tipping policy in Germany”
4-) Travel Consultant intervention
Virtual Assistant will automatically hand over certain more complex questions and dialogs to a live travel consultant who continues to assist the customer. Virtual Assistant can also schedule a meeting with one of the travel consultants, group consultant, or sales.
5-) On the road assistance
Virtual Assistant assists travelers while they are on the road, informing them of any flight delays, change of departure gates, forwarding correct Carrousel for luggage pick up, detecting and alerting any other service delays, and provides ideas of what to do in the destination including a restaurant to activity suggestions.
Looking ahead, beyond version 6.0, our 7.0 KeyBrain AI system update will receive additional skills making Virtual Assistant more proactive in its engagement serving you and your customers, the better understanding you, and your existing customers' behaviors.
It will proactively suggest the best available vacation ideas and dates tailored to you and your customers’ past behavior and likes. In version 7.0, Virtual Assistant will be able to read emails, make necessary predictions, and generate reply emails collecting required information or suggesting links in the email body.
Future capability opportunities include the integration of travelers’ loyalty profiles from hotel chains, airlines, and car rental companies, communicating directly with suppliers about traveler’s accommodation, seat assignment, car preferences, and dietary preferences.
There are more opportunities for other Travel Industry usage cases such as:
How AI can be used for travel-related marketing, including content creation and prediction modeling.
Customer satisfaction using sentiment analysis,
Information Extraction to measure the reputation of the brand
Predictions on pricing and supply-demand on various services and destinations
I believe a new era is starting in the travel industry with a focus on improving efficiency, in part through the use of AI technology. By no means will AI systems replace the need for travel agents in the next 10 years, rather, it will increase efficiencies and the bottom line for all!
KeyBrain.ai is looking for
Travel partners who would like to integrate Virtual Assistant into their systems. We plan to make this system very affordable to all of our travel agency partners in early 2021.
Suppliers who would like to offer their services and products through our system
Investors who share the same vision of the future of travel technology and can help us to carry this system to the next levels.
Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org