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Can ChatGPT Become A Game-Changer Travel Start-Ups?

From post-booking support, itinerary planning, travel marketing, fraud detection, and virtual guide for customers to training travel agents, ChatGPT offers numerous applications for the travel sector

Can ChatGPT Become A Game-Changer Travel Start-Ups?
POSTED ON March 06, 2023 12:49 PM

Technology's evolution has ushered in a new era where 'Search & Find' for information is no longer the norm. Welcome to the age of 'Train & Tell' where the focus is on creating a more human-like conversation with an intelligent machine. 

A tool's ability to truly understand its user is becoming increasingly important, as it allows for a deeper level of engagement and a more personalised experience. With the ability to understand a person's likes, dislikes, mood and tone of voice, technology can now have a more meaningful dialogue with its users.  

Many artificial intelligence (AI) capable models have come forward in recent years and performed this work extremely well. This includes generating human-like text, language understanding and translation, summarisation, classification, dialogue and content generation, sentiment analysis, etc. All of these are still evolving, albeit at an unimaginable speed. 

Take, for instance, the new talk of the town - ChatGPT, a natural language processing (NLP) powered chatbot, which has gone from obscurity to gaining one million subscribers in no time. 

Chat, Convince, Book

ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer) is an extremely powerful tool for NLP and response, making it a game-changer in the field of chatbot tech. It is a large language model trained on troves of data and uses advanced machine learning algorithms to understand and respond to a wide range of inputs, providing a more natural and seamless conversational experience for users. 

With the ability to maintain context and remember previous interactions, it provides a more personalised and efficient experience for users with more natural and human-like interaction. One industry where ChatGPT can offer wide-ranging applications is travel. And it has multiple use cases. 

For instance, it can revolutionise how travellers plan their trips by assisting customers in creating personalised itineraries with minimal research and effort. I have tried this for a weekend trip involving a casino visit with friends, a budget hotel stay and a few other activities, and the itinerary generated by ChatGPT was spot on! 

It seemed to understand the nuances of my needs and preferences, making the planning process much more efficient. With this technology, the entire booking and planning process, including searching for flights, hotels, rental cars, and providing recommendations and suggestions, can be optimised to a new level. It can change how we plan, book our travel, and make it more efficient, effortless, and enjoyable.

Help Is More Accessible Than Before

One of the most annoying aspects of any travel itinerary is post-booking support. Providing post-booking support, such as assistance with flight and hotel confirmations, itinerary changes, travel document and visa requirements, travel insurance and claim process needs, etc, can eat into a travel start-up's bandwidth. However, ChatGPT can alleviate customer issues post the booking process.

It can handle customer inquiries and provide answers to frequently asked questions very effectively due to its ability to retain and learn from a previous conversation. This, in turn, can help reduce the workload on customer service teams and improve the overall customer experience. 

Moreover, with its ability to understand natural language and provide personalised responses, ChatGPT can offer customers a more efficient and effective self-service option. It can be trained on emotions to respond with empathy and understanding when a customer is upset or frustrated. This can help resolve issues faster, saving both the customer and the customer service agent time and effort.

The application can also act as a virtual guide for travellers. With its vast knowledge base, ChatGPT can provide travellers with detailed information on their destination, including weather conditions, local customs, the best time to visit, popular tourist spots, local cuisines etc. 

This can help travellers plan their trip more effectively, ensuring they make the most of their time and avoid any potential travel pitfalls. Imagine having a personal guide by your side all the time!

All About Content 

ChatGPT can consolidate and summarise reviews (hotels, attractions, etc.) by training it on a dataset of hotel reviews. Once trained, the model can summarise the reviews by identifying common themes and sentiments expressed in them. Additionally, the model can also be fine-tuned to predict the rating of a hotel based on the reviews it has received.

 Similarly, it can be used to summarise travel-related articles and news and is extremely useful in creating engaging and informative content for customers. By being trained on a dataset of current travel package descriptions and related content, the model can learn the language and tone used in the industry, improving the generated descriptions' accuracy and effectiveness.

Data consolidation is a major challenge in the hotel industry, particularly for aggregators who must manage large amounts of information from multiple sources. The problem is that when the same hotel content comes in from numerous providers, it can be challenging to identify and consolidate the information due to variations in the content. 

However, ChatGPT's advanced language consolidation and summarisation capabilities can solve this problem by easily identifying duplicate content and consolidating it into a single unique ID.

A Growing Footprint

ChatGPT has the potential to significantly increase the reach of travel businesses by leveraging its seamless language translation capability. With its ability to understand and respond to customer inquiries in multiple languages, just like a human translator, it can help travel agents expand their reach to new markets and grow their customer base, while making significant savings on opex costs.

The tech tool can also be used as a tool to help with upselling and cross-selling in the travel industry. By analysing customer interactions and preferences, the model can provide personalised recommendations for additional services and products that may interest the customer. 

ChatGPT can analyse customer's conversation and suggest activities, sightseeing, dining options, etc. based on their interests and budget. There are many more such examples where it can extract real valuable insights from the conversation itself.

Naysayers Have The Aye

There are numerous other potential applications for ChatGPT in areas such as travel marketing, event planning, fraud detection, training for travel agents, etc. Additionally, it can be adapted to assist travelers as a virtual shopping assistant, providing guidance and recommendations for e-commerce and local shopping.

While there are many potential applications for ChatGPT within the travel industry, some critics are skeptical of the hype surrounding the technology. They argue that the travel industry is highly dynamic, with inventory, prices, and other availability parameters changing constantly. 

As a result, they argue that a chatbot like ChatGPT would need to be integrated with a dynamic framework in order to access real-time data and be useful for travel planning. Some critics may also view it as simply trained to generate words based on a given input, but it does not have the ability to truly comprehend the meaning behind those words. 

Also, many other points out the ethical concerns around the conversation. However, many others believe that there are numerous potential use cases for ChatGPT in the travel industry, particularly in the areas of automation and automated content creation. 

They argue that the potential of conversational AI frameworks like ChatGPT are limitless, and that new ideas and applications will emerge over time. They also believe that with ChatGPT, the travel industry can take a significant step forward in terms of customer experience and efficiency. 

Personally, I think this is just the beginning and in the coming days, we will get to see many more practical use cases and applications emerging from the travel industry.

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