AI set to shape the future of travel & tourism, says WTTC

AI set to shape the future of travel & tourism, says WTTC

It wants to remain at the forefront of safe, ethical, and inclusive AI advocation

New reports from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Microsoft has highlighted the transformative power of artificial intelligence and its role in shaping the future of travel and tourism.

The final two reports of a series on artificial intelligence from WTTC titled "Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI): Overview of AI Risks, Safety & Governance" and "Artificial Intelligence (AI): Global Strategies, Policies & Regulations," underscored a commitment to a digital future that prioritises safety, ethical considerations, and responsible AI adoption.

Launched during the global tourism body’s participation at the UN General Assembly in New York, these reports indicates WTTC's mission to promote innovation and excellence in customer experiences through the safe and trustworthy integration of AI.

The "Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI)" report 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 provides organisations with information on how to harness the power of AI responsibly.

In the fourth and final instalment titled "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.

Julia Simpson, president & CEO of WTTC, 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 & 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% cost saving but prevented thousands of kilos of unwanted food going to landfill."

Julie Shainock, managing director, travel, transport, & logistics industry for Microsoft, said: “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.”

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

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

Challenges such as AI-skilled workforce shortages in the sector persist, highlighting the importance of proactive measures to overcome barriers to adoption.

The WTTC wants to remain at the forefront of advocation on safe, ethical, and inclusive AI innovation.