This week’s main topic is artificial intelligence.

As computers have gotten smarter and more powerful, they’re finding new applications for them across a range of industries. In the travel industry, a range of companies are now working on how to use artificial intelligence to help customers deal with one of the most complex of travel challenges: flight searches.

For now, most of the systems only handle simple logistical hurdles like rebooking flights or handling cancellations. In the future however, we may see this suite of services evolve, offering a new tool to help save travelers time, hassle and money when trying to decide when to buy.

Travel Companies Explore Artificial Intelligence Flight Search Tools
Are you as sick of those “what’s the best time to book my plane ticket” articles as we are? Help may be coming from the advancing field of artificial intelligence, which will transform how travelers purchase flights in the future. For now, virtual travel assistant services from companies like Expedia, IBM, and Pana help travelers to quickly rebook flights or deal with cancellations. In the future these services may help travelers more easily book flights without endless searching and guesswork. Read more

GoPro Banks on Software to Help Boost Company Fortunes 
There was a time not too long ago when GoPro cameras were the travel world’s must-have item. But in many ways, GoPro has become a victim of its own success. Now that everyone from tourism boards to action sports stars has one of the cameras, how do you keep the company growing? According to recent investigations of the company’s strategy, GoPro is betting big on software, hoping new mobile editing tools hold the key to future success. Read more

Travelex Talks About Shifting Strategies in the Age of Mobile
Just a few weeks ago, we talked about how the digital wallet was becoming a key area of opportunity for many travel brands. Travelex is a great example of just how quickly digital payments are changing the travel industry. The firm, which has long-specialized in services like currency exchange, international payments and prepaid credit cards, is rapidly evolving its business model for a new era of mobile-first commerce. This interview with Dominic Grounsell, Travelex’s Global Marketing Director, offers some insights into how they’re adapting. Read more

Heathrow Airport Launches New Pre-Flight Movie Download Kiosks
Worried about the in-flight entertainment options on your next long trip? A new kiosk service at London Heathrow may help bored travelers quickly solve their in-flight movie dilemma. The EntertainMe kiosks, coming this summer to the airport’s Terminal 5 will let travelers quickly download newspapers, movies, magazines and destination video guides to their iPhone or iPad. Read more

Travel Marketers Highlight Their Latest Social Media Tips
The world of social media marketing never stays static for very long. In this constantly evolving world, how can travel marketers stay up to date on the latest tips? According to a recent article, tactics like being platform-agnostic, focusing on engagement over impressions and thinking beyond the U.S. in terms of audience will be key for travel brands trying to succeed in this ever-changing environment. Read more

Will Airbnb and Uber Soon Be Sold Via the GDS?
Travel startups like Airbnb and Uber have achieved plenty of traction among consumers and business travelers alike. But when it comes to the “Global Distribution Systems” (GDS), the back-end interfaces powering much of the online travel booking process used by business travelers, neither of the two upstarts have much traction. However, according to senior executives at Travelport, one of the industry’s largest GDS firms, there’s no technical reason why the two companies couldn’t be added, which could lead to some interesting online distribution battles in the future. Read more

 

Photo Credit: Artificial intelligence is working its way into the travel space as companies race to create smarter booking tools for travelers. Tristan Schmurr / Flickr