AI set to shape future of travel & tourism, say WTTC reports

Reports call for harnessing AI’s power responsibly
2024-04-18
/
/ New Delhi
AI set to shape future of travel & tourism, say WTTC reports

Reports underscore the urgent need for travel and tourism businesses to embrace AI as a strategic priority

A set of two reports released by the World Travel and Tourism Council has highlighted the immense potential that artificial intelligence holds for the travel and tourism industry, but calls for harnessing it responsibly.
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As the global travel and tourism sector debates the adoption of artificial intelligence, new reports released by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in collaboration with Microsoft highlight the transformative power of AI and its role in shaping the future of travel and tourism industry.

In a press statement, WTTC says that the final two reports of a series on Artificial Intelligence prepared by it are entitled Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI): Overview of AI Risks, Safety & Governance and Artificial Intelligence (AI): Global Strategies, Policies & Regulations. Both the reports underscore a commitment to a digital future that prioritises safety, ethical considerations and responsible AI adoption, adds the statement.

WTTC says that launched during the global tourism body’s participation at the UN General Assembly in New York, these reports mark significant milestones in WTTC’s mission to promote innovation and excellence in customer experiences through the safe and trustworthy integration of AI.

WTTC adds that the report, Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI), delves into the potential risks associated with AI deployment and offers strategies for establishing frameworks that promote transparency, accountability and fairness.

From addressing bias and discrimination to ensuring human oversight of AI systems, this report empowers organisations to harness the power of AI responsibly, it says.

The statement adds that in the fourth and final instalment, Artificial Intelligence (AI): Global Strategies, Policies & Regulations, WTTC provides a detailed overview of the AI ecosystem across key countries and international organisations.

It shows how policymakers are navigating the AI landscape and shaping regulations and strategies to foster AI innovation, while ensuring its ethical and responsible use, says the global tourism organisation.

Julia Simpson

Julia Simpson

“In a rapidly evolving landscape, AI emerges as a catalyst for positive change. The insights provided in these reports demonstrate that AI is not just a technological advancement; it is a strategic tool that can personalise customer experiences, drive sustainable improvements, and shape the future of travel and tourism. AI is already being used across our sector with incredible results. Several major hotel groups including Iberostar are using AI to monitor and reduce food waste, which recently resulted not only in a 27 pc cost saving but prevented thousands of kilos of unwanted food going to landfill,’’ says Julia Simpson, President & CEO, WTTC.

Julie Shainock

Julie Shainock

“We are seeing AI being embraced across the entire travel eco-system enhancing the customer experience, the employee experience and also driving more efficiency in operations, but we know we are only at the beginning of the journey. We are excited to see what the future holds as AI becomes more widely adopted to automate the more mundane tasks of travel and harness the true spirit of travel, to elevate the human experience,” says Julie Shainock, Managing Director, Travel, Transport, & Logistics Industry, Microsoft.

According to WTTC, AI has the power to revolutionise how businesses in the travel and tourism sector operate, offering immense opportunities for growth and innovation.

Both reports underscore the urgent need for travel and tourism businesses to embrace AI as a strategic priority, investing in talent and fostering collaboration between humans and AI.

But despite the sector’s increasing recognition of AI’s potential, challenges such as AI-skilled workforce shortages in the sector persist, highlighting the importance of proactive measures to overcome barriers to adoption.

WTTC says that as AI continues to reshape the world, it remains at the forefront, advocating for safe, ethical, and inclusive AI innovation.

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