Blenheim Palace, a monumental country house in Oxfordshire, is using artificial intelligence to predict visitor numbers to help manage the capacity and flow of guests.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site welcomes approximately a million visitors annually. The site has teamed up with Oxford Brookes University to develop new and innovative approaches to heritage management and smart tourism through AI-enabled real-time data.

Blenheim Palace is to develop new sources and build on existing ones to create data algorithms to predict visitor numbers and profiles. It aims to create greater understanding of live visitor flows at the site.

With AI-enabled data, the tourist site will benefit from a more streamlined approach to the planning and management of staff, supplies, logistics, maintenance and hospitality.

David Green, head of innovation at Blenheim, said: “We’ll be looking at two main areas of the visitor experience as part of the project. A new ‘Customer Insight and Prediction’ module will focus on predicting visitor numbers and will allow us to model for different scenarios, such as weather conditions and related visitor behaviour.

“The second part of the project will focus on mapping out what the visitor journey through Blenheim looks like, from the moment they book a ticket online, to the moment they arrive and enjoy Blenheim Palace.

“Once we understand what visitors do, we hope to create a system that can help staff anticipate visitor needs and deliver the best possible guest experience,” Green added.

The partnership is expected to run for 32 months and comprise of different partners from the heritage and attraction industry.