Buyers believe simplified booking is AI’s biggest opportunity

The simplification of planning and booking travel is the area in which artificial intelligence is most likely to benefit travel management, according to a new survey from Business Travel Show Europe.

When quizzed on what they believe are the biggest opportunities presented by the application of AI in travel management, more than four in ten (42 per cent) identified improvements in travel booking. More efficient travel programs was a distant second, selected by 18 per cent of buyers surveyed, closely followed by cost savings (16 per cent) and improved duty of care (13 per cent).

Meanwhile, when asked about their concerns around the application of artificial intelligence, one-third of respondents (34 per cent) identified data privacy and a quarter (26 per cent) said AI’s limited ability to handle complex situations.

The deskilling of travel professionals was selected by 16 per cent of survey respondents, while 15 per cent said the depersonalization of business relationships was their biggest concern.

The survey of 130 European travel buyers was conducted by Business Travel Show Europe which takes place on 19-20 June 2024 at ExCeL, London, and this year celebrates its 30th anniversary. Travel managers can register to attend the event free-of-charge.

“AI – and particularly generative AI – is the topic on everyone’s lips, almost irrespective of the industry they are in,” said Louis Magliaro, BTN Group executive vice president.

“For business travel, AI has the power to impact our industry positively and negatively. We’re already seeing – and have for some time through the use of chatbots – how it can enhance the personalization of travel management.

“It also presents exciting opportunities for streamlining processes and increasing efficiency, but it’s crucial for organizations to address concerns around data privacy and ensure that AI complements rather than replaces human expertise when it comes to customer service, and human interaction when it comes to meetings and events.”