2021 is only halfway through, and it cannot yet be said that we have beaten the pandemic, but yet, at the same time, the travel and tourism industry is said to be on the verge of a fairly rapid boom. . In many ways and in many places the recovery has already started.
A Globaldata Live Poll have shown that people desperately want to enjoy travel and travel, with a majority opting for longer trips than before. 26% of their respondents expressed a desire to take trips of at least 10 nights. As closures and travel restrictions continue to be relaxed and countries continue to open, we will likely see an increase in the number of new tourists and travelers.
Jason Fong, an industry veteran, is the mastermind behind the Boss of Bali brand, a brand that has garnered over 2 million Instagram followers. Fong shared his knowledge of all things tourism and how he has used his platform to promote the evolution of travel and tourism in a more sustainable way.
“We can’t just bounce back from this big stall in the industry, we have to make sure we bounce back better. This means that travel and tourism are more sustainable, more thoughtful, more meaningful and less reckless, ”says Fong.
Travel, tourism and the struggle for sustainability
The need for sustainability in the industry has been clear since before the pandemic, but has only become more pressing in light of all the changes in the world over the past few years. Fong describes the majority of tourists who come to Bali as very respectful of the place and culture, being a vital part of both development and conservation. Yet there is always room for improvement, and the current situation calls for new solutions.
The pandemic has been devastating for the travel industry. According to United Nations World Tourism Organization (OMT), the industry has suffered more than $ 1 trillion in lost revenue and over 62 million job losses. This only underscored the need for financial sustainability in particular.
The need for environmental sustainability has also been underscored by stronger international calls for environmental sustainability and reducing global warming. A 2018 study found that tourism and travel contributed 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions from 2009 to 2013.
The massive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the pandemic-inspired lockdowns and travel restrictions have only intensified the travel and tourism industry’s drive to build more sustainable systems.
AI and technology in a post-Covid tourism industry
The evolution is already underway and it can only progress with technological and AI-based solutions. The evolution and recovery of the industry will be driven primarily by the pursuit of sustainability and the deployment of AI and Big Data.
Following the pandemic, the World Tourism Organization has started working with key players in industry and other countries to increase the use of Big Data and AI in the tourism sector.
Fong had spent much of his years working in the e-commerce and online travel industries before becoming a resource for luxury and personalized travel in Bali. His experiences with AI in these industries led him to become a tech enthusiast and investor. More importantly, it led him to believe that AI can make any industry more sustainable.
He explains it thus; “The possibilities are endless. Proper deployment of AI in industry can give us the ability to study and predict the behavior and preferences of tourists to better serve them and deliver more relevant tourism packages. also to market our products more efficiently and easily. ”
AI is also actively involved in providing solutions that minimize person-to-person contact while traveling as a 85% of travelers said that contactless processing would make them feel much more secure while resuming their trips.
A measure of the devastation suffered by the industry can be seen in Bali, one of Asia’s most visited vacation spots. Fong spends most of his time inspiring people to visit “Island of the Gods”.
“3 in 10 residents in Bali are involved in the tourism industry, so it’s not hard to see how the pandemic has crippled livelihoods,” says Fong.
“The lull may have been devastating economically, but it also gave us time to strategize to become more environmentally and financially sustainable while giving the earth time to renew itself. As travel resumes, Bali is poised to become an even more endearing place to vacation and vacation. “
With every tourist seen as another ambassador for the island, Fong is probably right with his prediction. The growing interest and demand for unique, premium experiences will be hard to ignore for an industry seeking solutions.
AI, data and tourism personalization
Calls for personalization from tourists and travelers have only increased as the pandemic has started to subside and using data appears to be the best way to give these travelers a welcome return to tourism.
The evolution of AI in this industry has enabled service providers to gain the ability to analyze user data in very specific ways. The use of recommendation systems with their ability to recognize customer price preferences and other preferences has become ubiquitous.
These AI-powered systems can read customer reviews and convert the information into relevant data that would be used to generate more leads and create personalized results, offers and recommendations for their customers.
AI and industry sustainability
According to Fong, the enormous progress already made still leaves a lot to be desired. There are always concerns about the reluctance of customers to have their data in the hands of third parties. This concern goes hand in hand with a perception that AI solutions are not yet doing enough to promote sustainability in the industry.
However, Fong expresses his optimism for the future of this marriage between AI and industry; “Trends are moving in the right direction, current trends in AI-powered tourism are now being built to deliver lasting results and results that give customers more control over their data.”
Fong is right, there are many AI solutions in development that provide easier ways to book hotels, manage transportation, and travel needs. These platforms promise to reduce many intermediate costs and thus reduce the reckless expenses often associated with tourism, while making it more affordable and desirable for the world’s population.
Platforms like Fletch.ai are also try to create similar AI software that gives customers 100% control over their data, ensuring that their data never leaves the AI software itself.
The future is aware
The travel and tourism industry is changing rapidly, travel agencies and service providers are increasingly striving to obtain “ecotourism certifications”Which show them to be environmentally friendly.
Fong explains, “We need to do more to make sure that in Bali and everywhere else, travelers come and go with a predefined environmental awareness. This is the only way to successfully market the industry in the future. “
Conversations are taking place on the future direction of AI, namely sustainable travel and tourism. Suggestions have been made to develop virtual reality systems that reproduce an experience in certain sacred places in order to limit the carbon footprint of travel.
It has also been suggested that social networking sites develop programs that track frequent travelers and encourage them to behave more responsibly. All of this is in addition to the development of vehicles and other machines that are intelligent and less dependent on fossil fuels.
In conclusion, it is safe to say that we still have a long and arduous road ahead of us. AI may be the future of the industry, but in Fong’s words, “AI innovations would only be relevant in industry to the extent that they promote all kinds of sustainability.”