We are experiencing a "very exciting moment" in the travel industry, according to Travelzoo's European President.
Richard Singer was referring to the "groundbreaking technology" which is revolutionising what is possible from the perspective of customer service, entertainment and personalisation.
We've long held the view that we've never had it so good in the travel sector given the raft of tailor-made technology that's now at our disposal. However, things are just about to get even more exciting for travel brands, with robots set to be welcomed into their workforce.
At the Abta Travel Convention 2016, over half (54%) of the delegates said they believe robots will be commonplace in the sector by the end of the decade.
It's not that the other 46% of the delegates don't see a future with robots in it either – just 6% thought robots would prove to be a gimmick, in a live pool taken at the end of a session on the 'robot revolution'.
It's not only the industry that believes robots will become ever-presents in our lives – 77% of the 6,000 travellers quizzed by Travelzoo earlier in the year expect robots to be playing a part in their lives in five years' time.
Three-quarters of the respondents believe they will make their lives significantly better, while almost two-thirds would be comfortable with robots being used in the travel industry.
Commenting on the findings, Singer said: "Robots and artificial intelligence are making their debut on the tourism stage, and our research into global acceptance of robots working in the travel industry is largely positive. Most nations are starting to open up to the idea of robots in travel and see the tangible benefits heading our way in the very near future."
He added: "While the advent of technology such as robot butlers and bartenders is hugely exciting, it's also very clear from our research that consumers see the combination of robots and humans working in tandem in customer-facing roles as the ideal solution."
Singer cited the use of robots by KLM at Amsterdam Schiphol airport, by Costa Cruises and Royal Caribbean International's robotic bar tenders.
However, we're less interested in using robots in customer-facing roles and more curious about their potential from a travel marketing point of view.
As per Travelzoo's study, the main advantages respondents see in robots are related to general efficiency, data retention and recall. More than three-quarters of respondents think that robots would be better than humans at handling data (81%) and dealing with different languages (79%), while 76% believe robots have better memories.
Now we're talking. These are traits that could make marketing a good deal easier for us mere humans – while the "untiring energy", highlighted by 81% of respondents, should come in handy, too.
It's worth noting, of course, that there's already solutions available which can automate some aspects of marketing and other day-to-day tasks. Contact us for more information.