< PrevNext > AI Will Begin to Impact Corporate Hotel Booking By HRS VP of product development Martin Biermann / January 29, 2018 Share It’s hard to miss the increasing footprint artificial intelligence has in our everyday lives. This point is best illustrated by the remarkable popularity of intelligent “smart” home speakers. According to U.K.-based Strategic Analytics, consumers worldwide purchased an estimated 24 million smart speakers in 2017, nearly half in the fourth quarter alone. eMarketer reports that 35.6 million Americans used a voice-activated-assistant device at least once a month last year, an 129 percent increase over 2016.As we consider the impact on business travel, look at how consumers use AI. Amazon shared that people asked Alexa for cooking-related advice more than nine times as often last year as in 2016; Alexa also helped mix “tens of thousands” of drinks. People increasingly look to AI for instant, convenient expertise to solve the challenges in front of them. And with Alexa possessing more than 20,000 skills and growing in the U.S. alone … people expect instantaneous solutions to personalized issues.Corporate Hotel Bookings in the AI AgeIn times of maximum hotel program complexity, only those who make it easy will attract repeat business. Convenience is the new basis for customer loyalty, whether that’s at the time of booking, on the day of arrival, during the stay or at departure.Personalizing corporate hotel bookings will require continuous cataloging and tracking of traveler behavior. How does the traveler search? Which detailed pages does he or she look at? Does the user check the map view? Is location thus a deciding factor? All of this will be analyzed to draw conclusions, and not just for the booker in question. The technology will make precise suggestions even to new employees or those that hardly travel. Booking tools, leveraging similar demographic characteristics and peer traveler behavior and mixing in select traveler preferences, can serve up policy-compliant lodging options, including the right hotel services.In five years, we likely won’t have “traditional” searches any more. With machine learning, travelers no longer will need to set up searches. Instead, the traveler just enters the city, date and number of rooms and will get three hotel options, all matching the individual requirements, and that’s it. Systems will see meetings in personal calendars, take action and generate bookings. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said, “AI is the opportunity of our time; 100 percent of jobs will be augmented by AI.” AI will impact hotel bookings in 2018, and hotel program managers will begin to see this technology enhancing the traveler experience and supporting compliance and performance goals.