It isn’t necessary to explain what ChatGPT is; even if you wanted to, you could not bypass it. As economic conditions pressure the IT industry to show a genuine return on investment for integrating AI, we observe that the trend of treating AI with much more reverence emerges.
ChatGPT – the OpenAI tool for natural language processing with the highest consumer app growth since its debut in 2022 – currently counts over 100 million users. This number shows that it can be used regardless of the industry. How is it possible to use this kind of technology to one’s advantage when it comes to travel companies?
Statista stated that by 2024, the percentage of travel-related revenue impacted by AI will reach 32%. The hype around ChatGPT is not for nothing. It truly brings a wave of revolution that many industries, including the travel industry, can benefit from.
In this article, we will touch on the most important ways tour operators and travel agencies can use ChatGPT or similar AI tools in their day-to-day business.
ChatGPT as A Virtual Travel Assistant
According to HubSpot data, nearly 2/3 of consumers expect a response to any marketing, sales, or customer support inquiry within 10 minutes.
Travel companies receive a high volume of questions regarding tour packages, itineraries, prices, availability, and other information. If used properly, increasing overall customer satisfaction is a significant way this tool may help tour operators and travel agencies. There are several ways to do this, but one of the most significant is providing a quick response time. It can ensure that customers have their inquiries answered swiftly.
For example, frequently asked questions are the focus of many customer inquiries for tour operators and travel agencies. ChatGPT easily handles such inquiries and quickly responds to FAQs about visa applications, allowed luggage limits, navigating airport procedures, and more.
Although chatbots have been here for quite a while, the introduction of ChatGPT has undoubtedly raised the bar for what they can do. The tool can integrate as a basis for creating tours in addition to basic FAQs. Trip.com has introduced TripGen – a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence to offer real-time support to travelers and help them create a perfect trip.
Another example is Expedia’s “Explore trip ideas with ChatGPT” option when they launch the Expedia app. It is a valuable usage of ChatGPT for travel companies and can save agents a lot of time.
With all this said, it is clear that this tool offers numerous advantages to travel companies but keep in mind that it is still a relatively new product on the market, and the technology is still in its infancy stage.
This is something people from the travel industry are well aware of. In a recent earnings call, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky outlined his company’s plans for AI. He stated they hoped to create the ideal AI concierge who could provide you with personalized advice as opposed to chatbots like ChatGPT, which always replies to inquiries similarly.
When used for live data, Chat GPT might need more up-to-date knowledge in complex fields like travel, where details often change. OpenAI noted that ChatGPT currently has limited knowledge of world events after 2021.
From Destination Research to a Perfect Tour
With the help of ChatGPT, travel companies can make educated decisions about which areas to include in their trip offerings and evaluate potential destinations to create more unique and personalized tours. How?
This Open AI tool can collect and evaluate information on destinations, including well-known sites, nearby activities, weather patterns, and travel logistics. The collected data can include information about historical locations, cultural events, outdoor pursuits, and more.
Additionally, it can include details about seasonal fluctuations, busy travel periods, and the accessibility of particular activities or sites. This is helpful when creating different itineraries for tours.
Replicating the expertise of local specialists by offering information on the local lore, traditions, customs, and manners of many locations is another benefit ChatGPT brings to travel companies. As a result, travel companies can create tours that respect and include the local people, giving their clients a more genuine and immersive travel experience.
This way, the sustainable development of tourism is additionally emphasized and nurtured, which, especially for modern travelers, is a very important factor when choosing a travel destination.
A New Marketing and Sales Superpower
Tour operators and travel agencies continuously seek innovative methods to engage customers and increase revenue in this digital era. ChatGPT is revolutionizing the marketing and sales environment for travel companies by providing tailored experiences, boosting customer engagement, and raising conversion rates.
ChatGPT may assist with operations by providing information on special deals, discounts, and promotions. It may interact with potential customers, respond to their questions, and turn leads into bookings.
Similarly, this tool can reach out to users on social media and inform them of promotions, new services, etc. It acts as a travel guide or tourist information tool for upselling and cross-selling. This broader exposure can drive more sales and increase travel companies’ marketing opportunities.
Interacting with prospective customers who visit travel companies’ websites or social media pages, responding to queries, giving information on vacation packages, and collecting lead information through Chat GPT assists tour operators and travel agencies in generating leads and growing their customer base. Customers stay on the website longer because of the high level of engagement, which fosters a stronger bond and increases trust.
With the use of ChatGPT for travel companies, customer input can be gathered. Travel companies may get important information about what consumers like, don’t like, desire, need, and expect through conversations with customers. They can then analyze this input to enhance their tour offerings and customize their marketing and sales strategies by creating specialized offers, focused email campaigns, and bespoke suggestions to boost conversion rates.
It was only a matter of time before marketers began writing optimized content and optimizing websites so that their products appear top in ChatGPT results. Chat GPT can help with content marketing needs by creating material on demand, acting as an SEO expert by finding the right keywords and phrases to target, or coming up with content ideas. When marketing teams face time pressure, this can be helpful.
Due to changes in customer expectations and technological improvements, the travel industry has undergone significant changes. Travel companies seek quicker and more manageable business processes that leave no room for manual mistakes. Due to that, they are searching for different digital solutions they can implement.
ChatGPT and similar AI tools can be valuable additions to these digital solutions, providing a conversational interface that improves the user experience and offers numerous advantages. Companies can do this if they have a specific back-office solution that can support something like that. Businesses may improve customer satisfaction, automate customer support, and provide tailored suggestions by integrating ChatGPT into their travel software.
Our partner from Austria, Liberty Travel, foresaw and understood the importance of AI and travel technology:
“Digitalization is a must. It is moving at a speed where we have to be a part of that game. Otherwise, it can get dangerous in the future. The goal of the software is to make our life easier, more efficient, quicker, and overall better. Artificial intelligence will be a future topic, and the software will provide you with the required database.”-Maximilian Wenger-Oehn, Chief Operating Officer at Liberty Travel
By leveraging the capabilities of travel technology, travel companies are transforming the industry by enhancing cost-effectiveness, efficiency, personalization, customer service, etc. It revolutionizes how travel companies interact with customers, making trip preparation more convenient and available.
Tour operators and travel agencies can adapt to the digital environment, stay competitive, and provide their customers with improved services by utilizing the possibilities of ChatGPT for travel companies, and even more if implementing it into a software solution.