ChatGPT hasn’t even been with us five months, yet you’d be excused for thinking it’s everywhere.
It took just five days after OpenAI launched the natural language processing tool before CEO Sam Altman took to Twitter to announce it had exceeded 1 million users. By one analysis, within two months ChatGPT was up to 100 million active users to become history’s fastest-growing app.
And that was before it seemed every travel company jumped in, eager to employ artificial intelligence to build conversational applications, virtual assistants and automated customer support systems.
In March, Expedia Group and Kayak became the first travel companies to create plugins to integrate with ChatGPT so that its users could get information on flights and places to stay from their data and click through to book a trip. Less than two weeks later, Expedia added a travel planning tool that uses ChatGPT to help users get inspired and build itineraries for trips they can book on Expedia’s mobile app.
If that seems fast, wait till you learn what MyRealTrip did in just two days (keep reading).
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To get a better handle on how travel companies are capitalizing on the technology, PhocusWire went to the source: ChatGPT, which offered this:
“Travel companies are using ChatGPT, a large language model, to improve their business in several ways:
“Booking and reservations: Some travel companies are using ChatGPT to handle booking and reservation requests from customers. Customers can simply chat with the chatbot to make a reservation, ask about availability or modify their booking.
“Customer service: Many travel companies are using ChatGPT to provide 24/7 customer service support. Customers can ask questions about their itinerary, request travel recommendations or report issues with their trip.
“Personalized recommendations: ChatGPT can analyze a customer's travel history and preferences to provide personalized travel recommendations. This can include suggesting destinations to visit, recommending restaurants or activities to try or suggesting accommodations.
“Travel information: Travel companies can use ChatGPT to provide customers with travel information, such as visa requirements, weather forecasts or local transportation options.
“Marketing: Some travel companies are using ChatGPT to improve their marketing efforts. For example, the chatbot can engage with customers on social media platforms, suggest personalized travel packages or promotions and provide information about upcoming events or festivals.”
As helpful as that was, even ChatGPT needed assistance finding specifics on a broader sample of travel companies, both large and small, that are using its technology. For that, PhocusWire used living, breathing writers — which means any mistakes of omission or otherwise are, more than likely, human error.
And if you know of any travel companies or tools using ChatGPT, please let us know at email@example.com.
Affordable Balaton Accommodations
The startup, which connects travelers with accommodations and adventures in Hungary’s Balaton Lake region, said it’s the first travel online platform to integrate a ChatGPT AI-based chatbot in the country. The service supports users in more than 100 languages, simplifying searches for accommodations, programs and services. “Anna” currently assists visitors to the site in two ways: one for travelers seeking accommodations, the other for registered owners needing help with property management.
In March, Israel-based Duve announced it was using ChatGPT-4 to improve communications between hotels and guests. The “DuveAI” tool is designed to combine OpenAI’s communication skills with Duve’s guest profiles to help hoteliers prioritize tasks, respond to guest questions and summarize the messages that are coming from guests. “With DuveAI, we can go beyond traditional guest communication methods and truly understand the needs and preferences of each guest,” said Duve co-founder and CEO David Mezuman. “DuveAI is the future of guest experience, and we are excited to be at the forefront of this revolution.”
Using the tool launched in the Expedia iOS app, users can select “Explore trip ideas with ChatGPT” to have an open-ended conversation to get recommendations for a trip itinerary, including hotels, rentals, flights, experiences and ground transportation. The results are pulled from Expedia Group’s travel data. Suggestions are automatically saved on the app’s “trip board,” where they can be selected to view pricing, reviews, photos and to complete the booking.
iPlan.AI, Roam Around, Vacay
Drawing inspiration or narrowing options for a trip is free and fast with these travel planning apps that use tools like ChatGPT to create itineraries in a matter of seconds. Roam Around uses ChatGPT in a straightforward fashion, asking only where you plan to visit and how much time you have before presenting an easy-to-follow itinerary covering places to see and eat. Vacay uses a chatbot to provide more detailed itineraries that spit out across the screen like a digital printer. Users can get recommendations for hotels, restaurants and activities that fall within the travel budget they set. For the text averse, iPlan.AI produces itineraries filled with photos and handy links to maps, at least for the larger cities you might wish to visit. Many smaller locations aren’t yet included.
This content and distribution system for tour and activity providers released a tool built with ChatGPT’s API in February. The tool was designed to help tour and activity suppliers create marketing content optimized for online searches, including keywords and translations. “I took a terrible tour description from someone that probably wasn’t an English-first speaker and made it really good” using the tool, Magpie founder and CEO Christian Watts said. “It covered all the right points and made it read very well and with very good grammar.”
The South Korean company built an interactive platform for users to converse with a ChatGPT-powered AI to plan itineraries and receive recommendations for tours and activities. The MyRealTrip team built it in two days. As Jonathan Chung, the company’s chief experience officer, told WebinTravel last month, team members gave themselves two days to see what they could come up with. “We said let’s have fun. We all have work, but this is so cool, we should do it. … Whatever we come up with at the end of the second day, let’s just post and see how that goes.”
While many of the new technology’s applications are focused on travelers, MyTrip.AI promises to “superpower” marketing, sales, website content and customer service with its version of ChatGPT. A writing assistant is designed to help create better customer communications and travel content. There’s also an email assistant and a marketing tool that MyTrip.AI said can learn “the voice and tone of your company.”
Formerly TripActions, Navan announced in February it had integrated generative AI across its infrastructure and product feature set. Through Ava, Navan’s virtual assistant, corporate travel managers can personalize recommendations; administrators can ask the tech to perform data queries; and travelers can get recommendations for restaurants near their hotel or directions to the airport. "The integration of this technology raises the bar for product and service expectations,” Navan co-founder and CTO Ilan Twig said.
In February, China-based Trip.com launched a new chatbot within its app that was built on an API from OpenAI. The “TripGen” tool allows users to ask questions to get advice on flights, hotels and tours. The rollout supported English, Japanese, Korean and traditional Chinese, with plans to add more languages. The conversational approach should make it easier for users to navigate their way toward more tailored itineraries, said Amy Wei, senior product director at Trip.com Group. “Planning is always so time-consuming and stressful,” she said. “There is so much information available to users, and often it's overwhelming.”
Wingie Enuygun Group
The online travel marketplace for flights, bus tickets, hotel bookings and car rentals in the Middle Eastern and North African markets said it designed a travel assistant named “ENBot" using ChatGPT-4. ENGBot assists users in finding flight tickets in seconds. While currently available only in Turkey on the Enuygun site, the company expects to launch ENGBot soon on its global platform, Wingie.
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