The business tourism sector has evolved dramatically over the past decade or so. The trend that was only just picking up popularity over the past decade or so, is finally gaining much-needed recognition as companies are increasingly looking for team-building activities.

This is a crucial moment for the travel and tourism industry that has been hit hard by the current pandemic. Travel companies, brands, and governments need to work in tandem and with new technologies to effectively overcome the challenges that this pandemic has imposed. One of the technologies that has been recently widely popular in this field is artificial intelligence and specifically deep learning.

For those of you who are not familiar with how deep learning works, it is a subset of machine learning that replicates the structure and functions of the brain, or in other words, it relies on artificial neural networks. Deep learning is greatly executed in Alexa. The tool’s ability to recognize your voice or Google’s ability to translate, all of this is possible thanks to deep learning. Its ability to learn, analyze and adapt to large amounts of data in an efficient and timely manner, makes it the perfect technology for the travel and tourism industry. In the current situation, figuring out the ever-changing travel restrictions, lockdowns, quarantine regulations, and sometimes even the weather becomes a hassle for airline companies, hotels, and travel agents. 

 Application of Deep Learning 

Thanks to its ability for superior data processing and pattern identification that allows them to predict areas where there is a surge of cases, likely lockdowns, and the latest travel restriction as well as predict the weather for the whole week or two that the tourist is going to be there.

This is especially useful for business tourists who are planning offsite retreats with their teams. In a telephonic interview, TeamOut co-founders Vincent Albouy and Thomas Mazimann explained that AI platforms can deeply understand the customer’s needs and select very specific offers and build well-curated packages. Both entrepreneurs worked for top-tier companies where they gained the much-needed experience to start a successful deep learning-powered platform.  Mazimann who stands behind the business success of their platform shares some deep insights into their journey. While Albouy has in the past worked with IBM as their AI scientist and software engineer and now has been working on the company’s deep learning algorithms explains the importance of the technology in the field.  

In an industry that is driven by the customer's wants rather than needs, using AI helps service providers change the booking experience and avoid bad surprises and coordination issues. This is especially important when working with business clients, as they can easily move to another service provider if they are not satisfied with the user experience. 

According to Vincent and Thomas, this has led to a surge in recommendation systems as they can better understand customer’s needs and accurately curate the right offers.

Retreat planning can be a pain for team managers due to large group constraints. Also, a business trip requires specific needs, special accommodations and activities for all, and rigorous coordination. Machine learning can assist the offsite planner and make the entire process easy with effective recommendations.

In short, using a recommendation system that uses deep learning:

  • Shortens the booking process.
  • Save money with best-negotiated deals.
  • Effectively coordinate accommodation and activities 
  • Propose a various range of destinations → encourages trip diversity. 

How Deep Learning can help travel companies

Deep learning can help travel companies achieve three objectives: 

  • Identify the best potential candidates for conversion,
  • Gain a better understanding of user behavior and the factors that motivate someone to choose a particular destination or brand over another,
  • Optimize the advertising and product selection seen by that particular user and improve conversions.

With this level of adaptive algorithmic capabilities travel companies can focus on providing customers with a fast, simple, and seamless experience, all while increasing conversion rates and fostering brand loyalty.

Deep learning allows brands to find new customers looking to take advantage of travel deals, optimize advertising spend in real-time, and predict which places will be the next to open or close their borders, thus enabling them to respond more readily to market trends. Brands that can leverage their data to create sophisticated algorithms have a significant advantage over those who do not, especially in times like these when adapting to new behavioral patterns is more important than ever.

Final thoughts

Deep learning is a powerful tool which can be applied across multiple domains of the travel industry. It provides functionality and sustainability to the business branch which constantly changes and adapts to its clients’ expectations. Thomas & Vincent’ product gives even more value to the world of deep learning and upgrades the way businesses organize and perform their operations.