How many times have you heard about ChatGPT? How about the cool AI travel planner? Or the amazing flight forecasting AI tool?
AI is seriously buzzing the travel industry, right now, and ...
You may ask, how can AI help my travel business too?
In this blog post, we will talk about all these AI tools, and let's dive into how they can help you too.
But, is AI really helping?
Avoid being one-sided and know the drawbacks as experts say too.
So at the end of this article, you will have an actionable plan for how to integrate AI into the future of your tour business- but with balanced expectations of what it really is and how it can serve its purpose, to save you time and help you grow.
This blog will teach you:
- How to design travel itineraries for your tours using AI
- How to improve the customer experience from live chat to offering the best prices using AI
- What you can do with the Chat GPT AI tool to maximize your content marketing
#1 Travel planning
With just a few clicks, AI can prepare a full personalized itinerary with your preferred travel dates, destinations, interests, and budget.
AI can access and analyze large datasets to find the best deals that meet your preferences. It can also make recommendations for activities, restaurants, and attractions in the destination of your choice. With AI, you can maximize planning experiences while staying on budget.
The most talked-about AI tool today, ChatGPT, now powers AI tools that supercharge tour planning.
Here are tools you can explore with:
Roam Around is an AI-powered chat app that you can use to plan travel in any city.
How to use Roamaround.io?
Roam Around only requires two pieces of information:
- Where do you want to go?
- What specific interests would you like to experience?
Based on this, Roam Around will obtain the necessary information from ChatGPT and present it in a way that is easy for more users to understand.
I tried this search for myself. And in only a few seconds, my very detailed tour plan was generated with all the links to the suggested places and tourist spots.
You can see my custom-made 7-day itinerary for a trip to Korea with a specified request here.
You can try it for yourself and see how it can help your tours. Simply visit roamaround.io.
What to watch for when using Roamaround.io:
RoamAround is an AI tool that suggests itineraries based on existing data. Be sure to check the suggestions for errors and compatibility. It is advised to consider weather conditions when planning a trip and use the suggested itinerary as a starting point rather than a strictly followed plan.
I found thriftytraveler.com's blog helpful when researching this tool. Check it out too!
Link to blog: https://thriftytraveler.com/news/travel/ai-travel-tool-roamaround/
Vacay is another AI travel planner tool that curates vacations based on destinations, operators, or prices.
Using ChatGPT-powered AI, they make custom trips, provide travel inspiration, and make hotel, restaurant, and attraction suggestions.
While Roam Around only asks for two prompts, this chatbot has multiple uses, but it still needs a good AI prompt to perform tasks. To help users with this, Vacay offers numerous examples of travel-related prompts for different tourist activities.
You can test it for yourself by first signing up for an account at usevacay.com.
Roamr is a more comprehensive app that uses AI to help you plan a full travel itinerary. With it, you'll get a day-by-day itinerary that tells you all you need to know about a trip. This includes pictures of all the places and activities you'll be visiting, as well as an embedded Google Maps view of every trip.
To get started with Roamr:
- Enter your destination. If you are planning to visit multiple places, you can do as you wish.
- Enter the start and end dates
- Choose your tour style/s (Romantic, Outdoorsy, Adventurous, Historic, or simply relaxing)
In seconds, it creates a detailed itinerary for your trip, with brief descriptions of what you'll do each day. As you scroll through the itinerary, the map automatically updates, showing you where each activity is located.
Plus, the app gives you weather forecasts for your travel dates and currency conversions.
For more AI travel planning apps, you can check MakeUseOf's list: 5 Free Travel Planning AI and ChatGPT Apps to Get an Instant Itinerary
How to use AI travel planning apps in your tours
If you are selling private tours, either Roam Around or Vacay (or a combination of both) is a perfect fit.
- Itinerary suggestions for a day or more
- Specific interests
- Hotels, restaurants, and attraction suggestions
For multi-day tours, the Roamr app is best for you.
- Comprehensive itinerary for multiple places
- With Google Maps integration
- Provides photos of destinations
Lesson for tour operators: Whichever works best for you, you and your customers can save time using AI-powered travel planners and itinerary builders, just don't rely on them completely and use them as a starting point to build your ideas - that eliminates manual planning.
#2 Customer service
Travel is improving for customers thanks to the AI revolution.
Consider three ways:
- Immediately respond to customers 24/7
- Recommend trips
- Manage a high volume of customer queries at once
I also find Forbes Business Council's article very helpful. Here, you will learn as they comment on 15 ways in which AI is transforming customer service today.
How to use AI in customer service for tour operators
24/7 customer support
Answer recurring questions about your tours with the Facebook chatbot. With AI chatbots, you can reduce customer wait times with 24/7 customer support - like tour offers, prices, availability, discounts, and the option to talk to a live agent.
Instagram has one too. The Instagram chatbot can send welcome messages to Instagram users who visit your business profile or talk to those who direct message you. Chatbots work 24/7 and can work with multiple one-to-one conversations at once.
With this, businesses can engage with customers around the clock without the need for human resources to be available all the time.
Check out Hootsuite's comprehensive guide to Facebook and Instagram chatbots to make sure it's set up right.
Group travel packages and multi-day tours can be designed with Hopper's help. Hopper helps you find the best hotels, know the right time to book flights, and see rental cars at reasonable prices using AI and machine learning. Plus, a key feature of Hopper is that it analyzes years of travel data to offer the best deals.
With Hopper, you can create and offer the best multiday tours and group packages at affordable prices.
Lessons for tour operators:
(1) Boosting customer experience online can now be made easier with the help of digital assistants and chatbots. By optimizing its use on your travel social media profiles, you can reduce customer wait times and save time.
(2) Provide your guests with the best group travel packages by using Hopper. Save time from researching and curating your itinerary manually.
AI is now making it simpler for marketing strategists to understand customers and develop better marketing strategies.
Every day, the travel industry accumulates huge amounts of data. When analyzed effectively, data like this can provide valuable insights for the travel industry and companies. These data sets, in many forms that would otherwise be overwhelming for human analysis, can now be quickly and accurately analyzed with artificial intelligence (AI).
Learn how AI has helped a luxury hotel company double sales and take customer service to the next level.
Example from the Dorchester Collection Hotel:
For many years, the hotel company hosted more weddings, yet revenue remained flat.
What AI did:
The Dorchester Collection hotel utilized its advanced AI platform called Metis to thoroughly analyze customer data and sentiment analysis, feedback surveys, online polls, and customer reviews.
Guests' reviews in general described the hotel as neutral. Customer reviews also revealed a high-stress level for couples - both before and during the wedding. Aside from the two, family members and guests likewise face pressure to ensure everything runs smoothly. Reviews also show the lack of special attention from hotel staff.
What the company did:
To satisfy the evolving needs of their customers, the marketing team developed and introduced effective solutions. As a result, the hotel team closely monitored the entire wedding process and came up with this.
- First, the hotel made connections with preferred printing companies. Hotel guests were then referred to these companies using the hotel's logo.
- For the couple's convenience, the team also partnered with Rodeo Drive dress shops. As a further way to delight guests, the hotel offered discounts to couples who purchased or rented their wedding dresses from these dress shops.
- The hotel staff made the couple's family feel welcome as well. They created family trees to honor the families, and also for the hotel staff to provide more personal and VIP experiences for them.
- As a final step, the team made it easy to find the hotel's wedding program on its website. By doing so, the company marketed its wedding services as a unique selling point.
Read more here for a detailed case study of Dorchester Collection's smart use of AI.
Lesson for tour operators: To effectively market and satisfy customers, travel industry companies must identify patterns and trends in customer behavior.
For example, tour operators can use customer data to identify customer preferences for activities and create packages that cater to those preferences. By crafting experiences tailored to the individual customer, tour operators increase customer satisfaction and loyalty by ensuring the best possible experience.
In addition to strategic marketing, AI also simplifies writing digital marketing content. AI now helps marketers generate high-quality content faster, allowing them to create more content at a lower cost.
Let us see how AI tools can help you.
Writer's block is no more a problem when you chat with Chat GPT. This AI tool can help marketers quickly create marketing content - blog posts, email campaigns, video scripts, and more with just a few clicks. Besides, there is more to the Chat GPT AI tool than copy-and-paste material; it also constructs sentences in a way that makes sense, is SEO-friendly, and is error-free.
How to use Chat GPT4 in tours and activities?
Here are some prompt ideas to get you started:
- “Write a short copy for a travel brochure for a [e.g. luxury cruise tour], highlighting the amenities and activities offered to guests."
- “As a [e.g. multi-day tour] tour operator, compose an enticing email to a potential guest who visited our travel website. Highlight the best experiences and attractions in [name of city]. The whole [multi-day tour with road trip to ...] package only costs [$00.00] if booked directly via our website."
- "Write an engaging email campaign for a cold audience for an [e.g. city tour in New York's Central Park] that explains all the details in a fun and engaging way."
- “Write [number of results, ex. 3] social media posts for a newly launched [e.g. food tour] in [name of the city], promoting its delectable menu and atmosphere. Opening hours are [provide opening and closing hours].”
- "Write an Airbnb Experience listing description ideas that focus on [a specific experience in the area], explain and entice guests to visit with the relaxing atmosphere [e.g. a stunning view to New York's Central Park] and the amenities provided."
Lesson for tour operators: Whatever type of tour you're selling, this AI software tool can help you save time and money. Not only that but when you can produce fresh content yourself, you'll reduce marketing costs.
However, Chat GPT, like all AI tools, will only be effective if it is given the right prompts. So make sure to feed it with the right context and be descriptive as possible.
I found a comprehensive guide to GPT Prompts from Zapier - it helps you know what is a bad prompt from an effective one. Hope this helps! ;)
While AI is transforming industries, it's not perfect and it has limitations.
While AI has many benefits, it still struggles with tasks that require human intelligence, intuition and decision-making. AI also relies on the data it's given, and if that data is biased or flawed, then the AI will make biased and flawed decisions.
What are the limitations of Chat GPT?
While ChatGPT has advanced capabilities, it has limitations. As a tool, its output depends on what input it receives during data training. As of now, it can only search and fetch data up to 2021.
Due to its purely mechanical nature, it cannot detect subtle cues or react smartly to emotional situations, so it cannot show empathy to readers or write in a way that moves them.
So how can you use AI writing tools at their best?
Artificial intelligence is most effective when used as a complementary tool to generate strategies and ideas. But to capture human interest, you need human intuition. So always double-check facts, relevance, and efficacy.
Key Takeaways: Use AI at its best
To sum up, artificial intelligence and machine learning are incredibly valuable assets for travel companies and tour operators. With its help, you can easily develop itinerary ideas for group and multi-day tour packages, offer smart insights and data to provide reasonable prices, and be available 24/7 to assist your customers, thus saving time and money.
However, it's essential to keep in mind that AI has its limitations. It cannot pick up subtle cues or handle complex emotional situations, which may require human intervention. Similarly, Chat GPT cannot retrieve information beyond 2021, which can lead to inaccuracies in data analysis.
Despite these limitations, incorporating AI technology into your business can offer many perks. Nonetheless, human intervention is always necessary to double-check and verify facts and updates, ensuring accuracy and efficacy. So, while AI can support your business, balancing its use with human intervention is important.
Enjoy the travel planning process of your upcoming trip, bon voyage!
Frequently Asked Questions
How is AI being used in travel?
Chatbots and AI voice assistants make it easy for travelers to book flights, hotels, and vehicles online. Intelligent bots are available on popular social media platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, and Viber.
Popular online travel companies use AI for customer service:
- TripAdvisor- TripAdvisor has introduced a new way to explore places called the AI virtual voice tour using virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. As you take this tour, you can use your voice to ask about restaurants, hotels, cultural spots, and other attractions in places like Orlando and Abu Dhabi.
- Expedia Group - The Expedia Group has an AI virtual assistant (working like a travel agent) you can use to cancel flights, check hotel reservations, and do other easy tasks. It can also handle more complex stuff like breakfast options and wheelchair access.
Hotels using AI for customer service:
- Hyatt Hotel - Hyatt offers a special bed called the Bryte Restorative Sleep Bed. Using AI, the bed analyzes your heart rate and breathing patterns and adjusts to the perfect temperature and firmness based on your body type. You can also set it up so customers wake up in a certain way in the morning.
- IHG Hotels and Resorts - Using Josh.AI, IHG created cool technology that transforms its hotel rooms into AI-controlled bedrooms. With it, you can just ask it to turn on the TV or play music for you without touching anything.
What are the advantages of AI in the travel industry?
AI can provide personalized recommendations, simplify booking and check-in processes, enhance security measures, and improve the customer experience. Travel is also made easier with real-time translation and customer service.
What is the future of AI in the travel industry?
In the future, AI will enrich experiences, allow real-time translations, and boost security. Travel companies will also profit from faster operational efficiency and lower costs. As AI evolves, it will provide endless potential for innovation and better the consumer's overall travel experience.
Why is AI important in tourism?
AI and machine learning simplifies travel planning, enhance customer experience, and provides personalized recommendations. In addition, it improves business operations, data-driven decisions, and competitiveness.
Do airports use AI?
Yes, airports are using AI to handle baggage, screen passengers, recognize faces, predict flight delays, and optimize air traffic control. It helps airports improve the passenger experience by enhancing their efficiency.
AI tools used in the airline industry:
- Sabre- Sabre Travel AI is used by airlines and travel parties to track real-time customer behavior, customize offers, automate processes, and thereby boost revenue. In addition, Sabre Travel AI works with Sabre's retail intelligence tools to help companies stay on top of industry trends and make smart decisions.
- FLYR- Cirrus is FLYR's revenue operating system that keeps airlines on top. It aggregates data from airlines and uses AI algorithms to predict sales and booking trends. This way, airlines can gauge how many seats are expected to fill certain flights and set prices accordingly.
Find more uses of AI in travel in BuiltIn's blog: AI in Travel: 10 Examples to Know.