ChatGPT is changing the way businesses interact with their customers across all industries — and the travel sector is no exception.
Group trip operators are leveraging AI to build personalized itineraries for their guests. ravel brands are using ChatGPT to create social media copy, and big-name operators are exploring its potential in the customer service realm.
Now is your chance to explore ways in which your tour company or attraction can also benefit. In this post, we’ll explore various ChatGPT use cases relevant to the tours and attractions space.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot that communicates in a human-like way. In the first two months, ChatGPT reached 100 million active users — making it the fastest-growing consumer application ever created.
The technology is being tested in every industry, including travel. With its advanced natural language processing capabilities, the chatbot can help travelers put together itineraries, find accommodations, and find things to do in their travel destinations.
Meanwhile, travel operators are leveraging AI to automate many routine tasks, freeing up staff to focus on more complex operational and customer needs.
How do you create a ChatGPT account?
Step 1: Visit the OpenAI Website Open your web browser and navigate to the official OpenAI website at “https://www.openai.com.”
Step 2: Click on “Sign Up” on the OpenAI homepage to start the account creation process.
Step 3: You’ll be prompted to enter your email address. Make sure to use a valid and active email address since this will be used for account communication and verification.
Step 4: Open your email inbox and look for an email from OpenAI. Click on the verification link provided in the email to confirm your email address. After email verification, you’ll be directed to a page where you need to provide your personal information.
Step 5: You may be asked to verify your phone number, too.
Step 6: After logging in, you’ll likely land on your account dashboard or homepage. Look for a menu or profile icon and click on it. There should be a tab that says “Upgrade to Plus.” Here you can choose between the free plan or ChatGPT Plus, which comes with more features.
How to create a great prompt in ChatGPT
Crafting the perfect ChatGPT prompt takes practice. Here are three tips to keep in mind when interacting with the chatbot.
1. Be clear and specific
Avoid ambiguous or vague questions that may lead to unclear responses. Instead, state your question clearly and be specific, providing as much detail as you can.
For example, in the prompt below, we tell the chatbot about its new escape room facility and ask for a marketing plan on Instagram.
Example prompt: “I just opened a new escape room facility in Atlanta, and I want to reach customers through social media. Can you provide me with a marketing plan for Instagram?”
You can then narrow down the answer with a follow-up question, such as, “What are the KPIs that a tour operator should track for Instagram?”
2. Provide context and background information
ChatGPT isn’t aware of your company size or your target audience. You need to provide the chatbot with relevant background information so that it can better assist you.
Let’s say you’re looking for marketing ideas to drive more bookings during your peak season. Your prompt should be as detailed as this one:
Example prompt: “I run a helicopter tour company in NYC. The summer is the peak season for us. Our target audience is out-of-town visitors. Can you give me some marketing ideas to drive more sales during peak season?”
If the answer overwhelms you, you can always follow up with a more specific question. For example, “Specifically, give me two marketing areas to focus on that would be the most cost-effective for a new business.” As you can see below, ChatGPT then offers a specific platform to focus on.
3. Specify the format of your response
If you have a specific format or type of response in mind, specify that in your prompt. This ensures ChatGPT will generate a response that meets your requirements.
For example, an operator using ChatGPT to write tour descriptions will likely want the highlights to be called out in bullet points.
Example prompt: “I run a virtual cooking class. The class is two hours long every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We specialize in authentic Mexican cuisine — including salsa- and guacamole-making sessions. Please write a description for my class in the following format: a 2-3 sentence introduction, followed by a bullet point list with the highlights and important information regarding the tour.”
You can see that the response below was formatted accordingly.
5 ChatGPT use cases for travel and tourism brands
1. Create social media copy
ChatGPT can be used to create a wide range of social media copy. As you can see from the prompt above, the chatbot weaves an engaging Instagram caption for a new rock climbing tour in the Rocky Mountains. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when using ChatGPT to write social copy:
- Define your goals. Are you looking to promote a specific tour, highlight a unique aspect of your business, or engage with your audience in a fun and interactive way?
- Your prompt should contain the key details about your experience, such as the tour name, special features, target audience, and relevant hashtags.
- Briefly explain your business and the essence of the tour you’re promoting.
- Mention the tone and style you’re aiming for in the copy. For example, are you looking for an adventurous tone or a more relaxed and informative one?
- If there are specific keywords or phrases you want to include for search optimization or branding purposes, make sure to include them in your prompt.
- You can also provide a few examples of the type of social media copy you’re looking for. This will help ChatGPT understand the style and content you’re aiming for.
2. Test out different variations for email subject lines
Let’s say you created an exclusive romantic bike tour through Napa Valley, and you want to create a Valentine’s Day campaign around it. You can ask ChatGPT to create different variations of Instagram posts and promotional emails. You can even ask for help with key features of your campaign, like the subject line, as seen in the screenshot above.
Here are a few tips on how to get the most relevant responses:
- Clearly communicate your target audience and the specific goal of your campaign, whether you’re promoting a sale, sharing news, or requesting feedback.
- Ask for subject lines of various lengths, such as short and punchy vs. descriptive.
- Ensure that the subject lines align with your brand’s voice and style.
3. Customer service
ChatGPT can function as a virtual customer service agent, catering to guest inquiries and providing real-time support. The chatbot can be trained to respond to frequently asked questions like “What’s your cancellation policy?” or “Is there parking?”
You can also use your existing support tickets and emails to train the bot how to handle common requests.
Integrating ChatGPT into your website or chat platform can make the online booking process more efficient, as guests won’t need to reach out to your team directly for easily resolved questions.
4. Easy itinerary planning
Expedia has launched a ChatGPT plugin to provide travelers with hyper-personalized search results. Travelers who upgrade to ChatGPT Plus can access the Expedia plugin and ask for hotel recommendations that fit their budget and preferences. When they’re ready to book, they go straight to Expedia.
On the operator end, your customer service team can use the chatbot to further personalize the guest experience. They can quickly provide relevant recommendations for nearby hotels or other attractions, or even build a sample itinerary for guests taking your tour or visiting your attraction.
5. Translation and multilingual support
ChatGPT’s language capabilities cover more than 50 languages, making multilingual support more accessible than ever.
Operators might, for example, implement a language selection feature on their website, using ChatGPT to translate their tour descriptions and other content in multiple languages. If you often welcome Spanish-speaking guests, for instance, you could add Spanish translation option to your tour listings page.
Here are a few other ways you might use this feature:
- Integrate ChatGPT into your website’s live chat support system, allowing visitors to select their preferred language.
- Create multilingual FAQs based on common queries.
- Translate emails from international visitors and respond in their native language.
ChatGPT vs. ChatGPT Plus: Should you upgrade to the paid version?
The answer is it depends on your specific needs. ChatGPT Plus currently costs $20 per month. Let’s delve into the differences between the two.
- It’s free! The free version is suitable for users who have occasional needs for generating text, like many of the prompts featured in this post.
- The downfall is that the free version may have usage limitations during peak times, meaning you won’t be able to access it.
When to stick with free access: If you’re using ChatGPT for tasks like brainstorming, drafting short content, or getting basic information, the free version can meet your needs.
- You get general access to ChatGPT even during peak usage times, ensuring a more consistent experience.
- Response times will be faster.
- You’ll have priority access to new features and improvements as they’re rolled out, including travel plugins.
Consider upgrading to ChatGPT Plus: If you rely on ChatGPT for frequent, time-sensitive tasks. The paid version promises faster response times and uninterrupted access to the platform.
In an age where technology evolves at breakneck speed, staying ahead of the curve is imperative for tour operators and attractions. From crafting compelling social media copy to transforming customer service and facilitating itinerary planning, ChatGPT has proved to be a valuable tool for operators and travelers alike. Consider that leveraging AI technology today can help your business stand out from the rest tomorrow.