WTTC highlights ‘urgent need’ to embrace AI technology

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has released two reports about artificial technology which it said highlight the “urgent need” for businesses in the sector to embrace AI as a “strategic priority”.

Written with Microsoft, the reports spotlight the “transformative power” of AI and its role in shaping the future of travel and tourism.

One looks at risks, safety and governance while the other explores global strategies, policies and regulations.

They were launched as part of the WTTC’s participation in the the UN General Assembly in New York.

Julia Simpson, WTTC president and chief executive, said: “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.”

She cited examples where AI is being used “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% cost saving but prevented thousands of kilos of unwanted food going to landfill,” Simpson explained.

Julie Shainock, Microsoft’s managing director for the travel, transport and logistics industry, commented: “We are seeing AI being embraced across the entire travel eco-system, enhancing the customer experience, the employee experience and 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.”

However, the WTTC said challenges such as AI-skilled workforce shortages in the travel and tourism sector persist.

Picture by Iryna Imago/Shutterstock.com

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