The latest trend in technology is hands down, ChatGPT. This chatbot has put artificial intelligence (AI) in the spotlight. When it was released last year, nine out of ten posts on social media were about ChatGPT and how it will revolutionize the way we search for information on the internet, create content, and work. But does ChatGPT have any application in travel?
The short answer is yes. Many businesses in the industry can benefit from this technology to streamline their operations and improve customer experience.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of AI in the travel industry and how ChatGPT is being used to enhance travelers’ experience in hotels, attractions, and destinations.
What is AI?
According to Britannica, AI stands for…
The ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.
Simply put, AI refers to the simulation of human capabilities in machines. The goals of artificial intelligence are:
- Develop problem-solving ability
- Allow continuous learning
- Encourage social intelligence
- Promote creativity
- Enable human-AI synergy
This is a huge market that is projected to grow exponentially, reaching a value of 104 billion U.S. dollars by 2030, according to Nextmsc.
Types of AI
When you think about AI, you probably imagine a robot performing human tasks. But the reality is a bit different; actually, there are different types of AI, and most refer to powerful algorithms that receive and process information.
Two types of AI have become very popular because of their potential to streamline business operations, they are:
A method of data analysis capable of predicting and anticipating the future needs or events of a company. This allows, among other things, to see trends coming or to predict risks and their solutions.
Given a prompt, generative AI can create new content, including audio, code, images, text, simulations, and videos that could easily pass as human-created.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a hot topic even in the travel space. But what is it and why it has become so popular?
First things first. ChatGPT is a type of generative AI in the format of a chatbot. Basically, you can talk to this AI and it will answer any question you might have.
But chatbots are relatively common on the web, what is so special about this chatbot that others don’t have?
- It has an impressive in-depth understanding of both spoken and written words, and even understands humor.
- It has the ability to remember the context of your conversation.
- ChatGPT supports over 90 languages.
- It is well-trained to decline any inappropriate or harmful requests.
ChatGPT is so revolutionary that it reached the astonishing mark of 100 million monthly active users only two months after its launch in late November of 2022, according to Similarweb.
How does ChatGPT work?
ChatGPT is based on a conversational format, which means the user enters a prompt or a question and the AI will respond with an answer.
Here is an example of how you can use ChatGPT in travel:
When “chatting” with ChatGPT you feel like you are talking to a real person, which makes the experience fluid and intuitive, even for users that are not tech-savvy.
How can ChatGPT improve travel?
This chatbot is a powerful tool for both, travel companies and travelers. The first can use it to offer better customer support, improve their marketing efforts and train their staff.
On the other hand, travelers can use this technology to better plan their trips—e.g. create a travel itinerary, get recommendations on places to stay and eat, and learn more about the destination they are visiting.
Will this technology replace human jobs?
A big concern is if AI chatbots like ChatGPT will end up replacing travel professionals. The answer is no.
While AI can analyze large amounts of data and make suggestions based on that, humans can deliver empathy and create memorable experiences.
Travel is an industry that relies heavily on the human touch. People travel because they want to experience something new, meet new cultures, and connect to new people and places.
It’s very unlikely that an AI can replace human interaction in the travel industry. Even if someone is 100% immersed in a virtual environment the experience will never be the same.
In which ways can ChatGPT be used in travel?
Travel companies are beginning to use ChatGPT for improving their services and leveraging their growth.
And not only the private sector can benefit from this AI, but destinations can also integrate this technology to enhance visitors’ overall experience during their trips.
The potential uses of ChatGPT in travel are many, below we have listed a few of them:
Answering guests’ requests and inquiries is part of the job, but time-consuming, especially during the high season.
And everyone knows that bad customer support equals a bad review, which is not good for the business. So how to make customers happy when you have to handle multiple requests in no time?
The solution is simple, integrating an AI chatbot into your website. ChatGPT can help you manage your communication with your guests on a 24/7 basis. This will save you time and allow you to give special attention to more complex requests from your customers.
The more personalized the service you offer to your guests, the more happy they will be. But it is hard to give accurate travel advice or offer a tailored product when you have little or no information about their preferences. And when you have the data, you still need to assimilate it in order to give spot-on recommendations.
ChatGPT can help you in offering a more personalized experience to your guests by analyzing their preferences, moods, and behaviors and processing it to recommend customized products, give travel tips, and suggest activities that might be of their interest.
One of the biggest challenges in the travel sector is the language barrier. Travel companies that deal with outbound tourists usually need specialized agents to handle communication with these customers.
But what to do when you don’t have the budget to hire such a professional?
Easy, use ChatGPT as a real-time translator.
As previously mentioned, ChatGPT supports more than 90 languages, which makes it ideal for handling communication with your customers. The result is a smoother and more inclusive experience.
Travel data analytics
Do you remember that ChatGPT understands the context of a conversion? So, this ability can be used to interpret customer reviews, social media feedback and other content travelers are posting on the internet in order to assist you in making better business decisions.
By analyzing vast amounts of data, ChatGPT can give you valuable insights to help you understand customer behavior and market trends.
Use this information to make a bold marketing plan and forecast demand for your services. You can also use it to identify areas of improvement in your business, based on the sentiments in your customer reviews.
How ChatGPT is used by travel companies
As soon as ChatGPT was released, big companies in the travel space started to rush to integrate the solution with their existing websites and apps.
Their idea was to improve travelers’ experience with their brands by implementing a chatbot that could interact with customers using a natural language and giving personalized recommendations based on their preferences.
One of the first companies to announce this integration was Expedia. The world’s leading full-service travel brand published a press release in April informing the beta launch of a new in-app travel planning experience powered by ChatGPT.
Basically, travelers can use ChatGPT inside the Expedia app to start an open-ended conversation to get recommendations on places to go, where to stay, how to get around, and what to see and do based on the chat.
The new trip planning experience also brings in intelligent shopping by automatically saving hotels discussed in the conversation to a “trip” in the app, helping members stay organized and making it easier for them to start choosing dates, checking availability, and adding on flights, cars or activities.
ChatGPT is revolutionizing the way we create content and search for information online. Its capabilities can assist businesses in different segments to enhance their operations and boost their growth.
In the travel industry, ChatGPT can be used for:
- Improving customer support
- Act as a virtual concierge
- Translate communication with travelers
- Give insights for better business decisions
An example of a travel company that has already implemented ChatGPT to streamline its operations is Expedia. The OTA has released an integration between the AI and its mobile app to assist customers in better planning their trips and booking travel services.
If you already started your digital transformation, ChatGPT is a great tool to have in your kit. If you are still struggling to give the first step into the tech space, don’t worry, ViagemIT is here to help.
Contact us now so we can discuss how to simplify your operations and increase the efficiency of your company through digital solutions.