In November 2017, Vance Reavie and Gabriel Killian of Instant Local Inc. were both successful in becoming finalists with NextAI. NextAI is a Toronto-based accelerator program focused on early stage Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled startups with a goal to bring together companies, teams and experts to successfully commercialize AI ideas and research.
Instant Local applied to NextAI recognizing the potential for AI to be a game changer in helping connect travelers to the local experiences they want by using machine learning. Machine learning is one of 5 key AI technical systems (McKinsey Global Institute). Machine learning is based on algorithms that learn from large amounts of data without rules based programming to derive patterns and relationships. The insights provided by this intelligence can change how businesses and customers interact including services that power recommendations engines, improve customer support and automate marketing.
The local experiences market is huge making it perfect for an AI enabled solution. There are so many attractions, events, experiences and product and service offers that travelers are quickly overwhelmed or end-up spending hours researching what to do, see, and buy and where to go. Understanding the customer and their context is critical to eliminating the information overload frustration travelers experience, while improving their experience as a guest.
As travel brands focus on their guest’s whole journey they need to connect them with the best options “offsite (meaning once they are leave the plane or the hotel). This means delivering exceptional customer experiences by interacting with at the right time and in the right context. Personalization allows them to match experiences, offers, perks and amenities to each customer uniquely.
Personalizing these interactions uniquely for every customer offers travel brands a big advantage in creating loyal fans, growing their revenue and differentiating their service and loyalty programs.
NextAI will announces the teams selected for the program in January 2018.