The travel and tourism industry has tremendous grown in the recent years from the use of robots. Robots in the industry are acting as front office desk attendants to chatbots and taking up positions as security robots. In some cases, we have seen robotic travel cases doing the rounds. The best thing about the robot and artificial invasion in the travel and tourism industry is that customers welcome the move. Delivery of customer services is better with robots than it is with humans and many companies in the industry stand to benefit immensely from the use of robots.
Are robots better than humans?
While majority of the people claim that it is better to interact with a real person than a machine, a recent survey actually revealed that many travellers preferred the services of a robot to those of a human during their travels. Some of the reasons they gave were that robots had better memories, could speak more languages, handle data faster than humans do and they had more working energy than humans did.
The switch to accepting robots to take full control of the industry will however have to be gradual because it takes money for the stakeholders to invest fully. Maybe by the time, many of the travel providers invest in enough robots, more people will have learnt more to accept and feel more comfortable trusting their lives to machines.
What could robots do better than humans in the travel and tourism industry?
Robots and AI are still in their infancy stages in the tourism and travel industry. However, they have major effects in the industry. Below are a few of those positive effects.
· Better and more personalised collection of data
The industry is using AI to collect customers’ data and put it in one place. This helps in giving the customers better services in accordance with their preferences. With better-personalised services, there are better chances of increasing the number of bookings for both hotels and airports.
· Freeing up staff members
The introduction of robots can free up staff members to attend to other duties like attending to the guests. The robots also help to break some of the most repetitive duties making the staff enjoy some more relaxed time.
· Better booking methods
Many of the travelling service providers have recently started introducing chatbots that allow customers to book for their trips faster and more easily, this they can do through their mobile phones or from their computers.
Real life robots in the travel and tourism industry
Some of the robots already working in the tourism and travel industry are:
In airports, we have the following robots;
In Mineta, San José’s International Airport, we have Norma, Amelia and Piper. The three dancing robots take pictures, play music, and help to point to the customers the places they need to go. The robots use a 32” touchscreen that displays information in Spanish, Japanese, English, French and German.
At Tokyo International Airport, we have Cyberdyne’s cleaning robot.
SITA has Leo a baggage robot that helps customers to check in, transport their cases and to print their bag tags. Leo can comfortably navigate high airport traffic and avoid any obstacles on its way.
Royal Caribbean has Stirred, Shaken, Mingle and Mix as on-board bartenders in the cruises bionic bar. They are very fast and efficient and can make mix up to 1,000 drinks per day. They use programmed tablets to communicate effectively with the guests and the cruise staff.
Costa Cruises has Pepper, a robot that entertains guests, reads, and recognises all the human emotions.
Henn-na Hotel Robotic Staff is probably the best known for robotic services. The robots check in and out all the guests, carry and store their luggage and uses facial recognition software to open the rooms for the guests.
Marriot hotel has Mario the robot who uses 19 languages to welcome the guests.
Hilton’s Connie the robot is the hotels concierge and is always at hand to answer all the guests’ questions while at the same time providing them with recommendations of what they need.
Dash is the Hotel InterContinental’s robot and its work is to deliver items like toothbrushes and snacks to guests in their rooms.
Wrapping it up
Whether we are ready for the revolution in the tourism and travel industry or not, the robots are already here with us. AI and robots are a good innovation for the industry because they present better opportunities for growth. Guests also get better services and this in turn makes them to make repeat visits to the places they visit. Today’s robots are more collaborative and they can easily work alongside people without causing any problems. To read more about the new age cobots and what they can do visit https://www.universal-robots.com/