Nand Kishor Contributor

Nand Kishor is the Product Manager of House of Bots. After finishing his studies in computer science, he ideated & re-launched Real Estate Business Intelligence Tool, where he created one of the leading Business Intelligence Tool for property price analysis in 2012. He also writes, research and sharing knowledge about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Data Science, Big Data, Python Language etc... ...

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Nand Kishor is the Product Manager of House of Bots. After finishing his studies in computer science, he ideated & re-launched Real Estate Business Intelligence Tool, where he created one of the leading Business Intelligence Tool for property price analysis in 2012. He also writes, research and sharing knowledge about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Data Science, Big Data, Python Language etc...

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Travel Industry

By Nand Kishor |Email | May 1, 2017 | 8688 Views

If you make your living as a corporate slave, you're probably familiar with business travel. This is where companies like Amex fleece people provide a valuable service by selling corporate flights and hotels at the highest rates possible. It seems like at no point in the transaction do they ever consider trying to save companies money but instead, try to sell the most expensive tickets and accommodations they can find. Generally, that has been our experience dealing with corporate travel agencies (or any travel agent for that matter).

We took a stab at artificial intelligence in travel because we believe the use of AI in the travel industry should be more than just suggesting destinations but also, cutting down the cost to travel by hopefully getting rid of the middleman middle-person entirely.

Travel is one industry where you can achieve a competitive advantage through data-driven marketing. Big data in the hands of travel industry players should drive the improvement of customer experience. Even the customers buy into this with 83% of millennials willing to let travel brands track their habits in exchange for a better, more individual experience. Those darn millennials (rolls eyes).

According to Forrester research, even a 10% improvement in customer experience can mean an additional $600 million revenue for an airline. This is all null and void though if you convert customer experience into an extreme sport and drag your paying customers out of a plane in the case of United Airlines (NYSE:UAL). (Even if passengers get belligerent, you must be nice to them or you will incur the wrath of millions of armchair airline CEOs on Twitter.)

According to Smart Insights, total retail travel sales alone across the globe in 2016 were valued at $22.049 trillion, up 6.0% from 2015, and the online travel industry alone is expected to grow to $762 billion by 2019. Can you believe those numbers? Here are some startups successfully integrating AI into their value proposition in order to improve the customer experience in the travel industry.

Tradeshift

Founded in 2009, Tradeshift, a company based in San Francisco, California, has racked up $182 million in funding so far from investors that include HSBC, American Express and Paypal. The founders saw previous success in building a trade platform called EasyTrade that 95% of Danish businesses still use today. Tradeshift has built an Alexa-like tool called Tradeshift Go that is used to book and pay for corporate travel. In 2016, they acquired a company called Hyper Travel which is the AI component of Tradeshift Go and deals with routing the booking request to travel agents along with the conversational elements of the tool. Here's how a Tradeshift dashboard is going to look like for a business:

Tradeshift Go Dashboard

The service is aimed at corporate travelers by assisting in the search for flights, car rentals, planning group travel, etc. while taking into account travel preferences, corporate credit limits, budget allocation for travel, and pre-approved credit purchases.

Tradeshift recently announced that they are adding a new layer of artificial intelligence they call Ada, integrating with Tradeshift Go, Tradeshift Analytics, Tradeshift Buy, and externally to Slack. This will come in handy once Tradeshift completes the acquisition of IBX Business Network from the Scandinavian company Capgemini this month. The acquisition will mean 1.5 million businesses (including 500 global enterprise customers) will be connected to Tradeshift's existing B2B platform translating to an increase transacted value of more than half a trillion dollars in the next 12 months alone. Read More

Source: Nanalyze