In the two months since OpenAi launched ChatGPT, the platform
has captured the attention – and imagination – of the travel industry.
A Google search of “ChatGPT for travel” brings 78 million
results – including PhocusWire’s
initial piece with input from industry leaders and an opinion piece from
Lufthansa Innovation Hub demonstrating a travel
inspiration tool it built using the ChatGPT API.
And new developments are rolling out quickly, such as Trip.com’s
integration of ChatGPT into its app and a content
optimization tool for tour operators from Magpie.
To provide a more in-depth discussion on how this technology
may impact the travel industry, we hosted our first LinkedIn Audio event Thursday,
“Let’s Hear It! How ChatGPT will transform the travel industry.”
Hundreds of people from around the world tuned in for the
40-minute discussion with Microsoft’s global director of travel, transportation
and hospitality, Shane O’Flaherty, Expedia Group’s senior vice president and
chief architect, Rajesh Naidu, and Kayak co-founder and serial entrepreneur partner,
The conversation covered a wide range of topics related to
ChatGPT, including examples of how it may be used by travel brands, privacy considerations
and what it could mean for traditional Google-dominated online search.
“I’m confident it will change everything,” English says.
exciting part… is this in-journey orchestration,” O’Flaherty says. “Where the AI
agents are… providing you micro-transactions of content to make your journey a
better journey… It’s super exciting for the consumer around this concept of
And says Naidu, “The
democratization and disintermediation of search is probably going to be something
we have to look at. At the end of the day it’s going to come back to how are
you helping enhance or augment the experience... ”
Several listeners also participated by asking questions,
including industry veteran and Travelocity founder Terry Jones, AWS head of
worldwide business development for travel and hospitality Massimo Morin and Deloitte
research manager for transportation, hospitality and services Maggie Rauch.
Listen to the entire episode of “Let’s Hear It” below.
01:30 – How big is this?
03:15 – Paul on the value of “thin layers” built on top
05:15 – Shane on use cases travel companies
08:40 – Rajesh on Expedia Group’s strategy
10:40 – personalization opportunities, in-journey
13:30 – brand voice
15:20 – What happens to search?
18:15 – question from Christian Watts, Magpie, on startup opportunities
20:00 – Shane on decentralized identity and generative AI
22:00 – question from Mohd Amer, Airbnb, on security/privacy
24:30 – question from Maggie Rauch, Deloitte, on trust
27:00 – question from Bhavani Aregala, Amadeus, on
implications for travel agents
28:00 – question from Terry Jones, founder of Travelocity,
on whether small companies can make a difference with this tech
29:20 – governance/policy issues
30:30 – question from Catherine Wambui, Travelport, on NDC
31:30 – question from Stuart Greif, Forbes Travel Guide, on how
ChatGPT determines and returns results
34:00 – question from Massimo Morin, AWS, on impact on “look-to-book”
36:00 – closing thoughts
The Phocuswright Europe event will have the latest on ChatGPT and how it is being used in travel. Make plans now to join us in Barcelona in June. Early bird pricing ends March 17.