Travel management company ATPI Group is planning “significant investment” in technology and leveraging the power of AI in both its internal processes and customer-facing platforms in 2024.
ATPI, which posted record sales in the first half of 2023, expects to begin automating some manual and simple, admin-based tasks using artificial intelligence in H1 2024. Customer-facing developments, including a chatbot, are likely to follow in the second half of 2024, said ATPI group commercial director Katie Skitterall.
In a statement, ATPI said AI can help it eliminate tedious manual tasks, streamline operations and enhance business processes, and also sees AI “as the answer to the persistent problem of personnel shortages within the travel industry”.
Skitterall added: “There’s potential with AI to allow for traveller personalisation and preferences – similar to that in leisure travel – while keeping travellers within the travel programme, trips within policy and people within one app.”
ATPI has begun implementing partner organisation Direct Travel’s existing chatbot, Simon, for use during operating hours and is already live with one shared global client. The chatbot can answer travel questions, help with profile updates,
pull information such as past invoices and connect travellers to live
team members in both English and French, but is tailored to the North American market.
The TMC therefore intends to develop a similar chatbot specifically for the ATPI network. If queries cannot be resolved by the chatbot, users would be redirected to an offline agent.
The company says it has already increased its technology investment by 35 per cent year-on-year. It has upgraded its On the Go app and developed a new analytics platform for clients. Earlier this year, ATPI began to roll-out its Microsoft Teams integration that allows users to view, plan and discuss trips and to manage traveller profiles in the communications platform.
Users of the Cytric Easy booking platform can also search, compare and book travel services through Amadeus’ own integration with the Microsoft 365 suite of tools.