AI in business travel: A report for fans and skeptics

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is arguably one of the hottest topics in our industry right now – but are business travel professionals on board, skeptical, or somewhere in between? BCD and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) asked over 700 industry professionals for their thoughts on AI during GBTA Europe and GBTA APAC conferences last year.

Artificial Intelligence in Business Travel: A report for fans and skeptics

The results of those conversations were collected into The Big Idea Report, a summary of how AI could drive transformation in business travel. The Big Idea touches on how AI is being used now in organizations, how future travel programs can leverage AI for an enhanced traveler experience, and business travel-specific use cases. Spoiler alert: Our industry has endless opportunities for incorporating AI in back- and front-office applications.


You’re probably already using AI

AI has already infiltrated the industry to varying degrees, including but not limited to, content creation and communication, automation and operations, language translations and personalization, customer support (think chatbots), data analysis and intelligence, finance operations and software developments. That translates to practical use cases like:

  • Rate comparisons: Assessing hotel room and bed rates
  • Expense management: Addressing discrepancies or anomalies in transaction amounts
  • Communications and marketing: Formulating clear service descriptions or sending travel policy reminders
  • Email classification: Directing emails by intent to specialized teams or automation, excluding nonactionable ones
  • And more

If you’re not using AI now, you probably will soon

Research firm Gartner estimates that 45% of service organizations will use generative AI to improve operational efficiency by 2025. So, what could that look like? Some answers are:

  • Sourcing and contracting: Sourcing strategies may adapt dynamically based on market conditions and company objectives
  • Traveler servicing: Some potential uses are identification for visa needs and applications and dynamically managing risks in evolving situations
  • Voice, messages and data interpretations: Collecting traveler feedback and turning it into improvements
  • More simplified booking processes

The potential for AI is great, but what about the obstacles?

AI sounds great (and it could be) but contributors to the report identified roadblocks and concerns, including:

  • How AI might change authenticity and human touch for users
  • How to address accountability and liability protocols for assigning responsibility and resolving mistakes
  • The copyright implications for material and content generated for business purposes
  • Ensuring clarity about data sources: What data is being used or shared, who owns the data, and what are the sources of outputs?
  • How AI will affect job security in the industry and supply chains

Download the report to explore potential future scenarios where AI can transform how we do business.

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