How ChatGPT Can Revolutionize Travel Retailing
Artificial intelligence has been a powerful tool for stakeholders in the travel industry for many years. But it didn’t seem to capture everyone’s attention until OpenAI launched ChatGPT on 30th November 2022. And now, everyone around the world is recognizing the incredible capabilities these tools have- from writing essays to composing music and even providing personalized travel itineraries.
As AI models such as ChatGPT continue to put AI capabilities at our fingertips, there’s an appetite to understand what it entails. But is this tech hype or a game-changing opportunity? That said, we’ll look more into an exclusive topic on ChatGPT and what it means for the travel industry, as conducted by PhocusWire editor-in-chief Mitra Sorrels during the PhocusWright Europe Conference.
The panelists for this exclusive conversation on generative AI included;
- Pablo Laucirica, regional sales director in Western Europe for Microsoft
- Amy Wei, senior director of product management at Trip.com
- Matthias Keller, chief scientist and senior vice president of technology at Kayak
Potential Benefits of Generative AI in Travel Retailing
Trip.com Group was one of the first major Global online travel agencies to integrate OpenAi into their app TripGen. Kayak was the next round to incorporate the ChatGPT plugin, and now we also have one for Bing.
When asked how ChatGPT has transformed their business, Amy Wei shared that ChatGPT has been a game changer. In that the conversion rates for her company are now twice that of the average user. She also explained that the conversion and retention rate is much higher than when they used the standard search engine.
So, exactly how can ChatGPT revolutionize the travel industry?
1. Personalized Travel Insights and Recommendations
According to Matthias Keller, algorithms such as ChatGPT can identify customer preferences, behavior patterns, and purchase history by analyzing vast amounts of data. This data enables travel retailers to deliver targeted offers, personalized promotions, and tailored recommendations, enhancing upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
On the other hand, it provides travelers with customized travel packages, streamlining the conversion path toward bookings. Travel retailers can utilize AI-powered virtual assistants to offer personalized recommendations, answer customer queries, and even assist travelers with bookings.
Pablo Laucirica says that with the power of Microsoft’s Bing and ChatGPT, users can get personalized answers from a specific query in ways that weren’t possible before. With the standard search engine, if you’d ask for recommendations on a particular holiday package, everyone would get the same answer. But tools like ChatGPT are enabling a whole new level of personalization.
2. Natural Language Processing
These AI systems can also understand natural language, learn from interactions, and improve customer experience. Travel retailers can harness the advanced natural language processing capabilities of ChatGPT to refine travel search functionalities.
That would allow users to interact with the AI models using natural language queries and get more precise and intuitive search results. With this, travelers will get a more streamlined booking process and better user satisfaction.
3. Multi-lingual Support
Also, travel retailers can leverage ChatGPT’s language capabilities to provide seamless multi-lingual support to customers from all walks of life. That will help overcome language barriers and cater to a much broader audience.
4. Voice Activated Assistance
With the integration of ChatGPT into voice-activated travel booking platforms, users can get hands-free and voice-controlled interactions with travel retailing services. Users can make inquiries, get recommendations, and even complete their bookings using voice commands. That generally makes the travel booking process more convenient.
Without a doubt, ChatGPT offers transformative potential for the tourism industry by providing personalized experiences, increasing customer engagement, and driving sales growth.
And while there are limitations to AI models, Lucirica says that they are working on concerns about privacy and bias. In fact, they are putting together the best team to train the AI models manually. The most important thing is for the industry to have the right standards and tech.